The Importance of Children's Games Their Mental Health

The Accompaniment of Parents Towards their Children in Childhood can Reduce the Chances of Suffering From Long-term Mental Illness. Children's Games are Key.

Boy stacking colored blocks

Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: La importancia de los juegos infantiles para la salud mental de los niños

Undoubtedly, childhood is one of the most important stages in the life of human beings. In this period, the awareness and bonds that children create with other people and their environment begin to develop.

On the other hand, mental health is an essential factor that must be taken care of from early childhood. This treatment towards the welfare of children has to be closely related to education and the way in which they are allowed to recreate through games. Therefore, it is very important that parents see play as a priority for their children and the benefits it will bring to their cognitive development.

According to UNICEF, playful moments are essential for the emotional well-being of boys and girls and, therefore, help to strengthen their mental health.

How does the game help the emotional well-being of children?

According to PAHO figures, in 2015, 264 million people worldwide were diagnosed with anxiety. On the other hand, figures from the World Health Organization show that more than 700,000 people commit suicide annually due to depression, a disease that affects approximately 280 million people worldwide. Likewise, it is considered the fourth cause of death in young people between 15 and 29 years of age.

For this reason, UNICEF, in a guide published on its web portal, affirms that parents who have the habit of playing with their children and sharing experiences with them help minors in their puberty or adult life to be less likely to suffer from psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, aggressiveness or sleep problems.

Although the data presented is not necessarily related to the absence of play in children, it is important to take them into account as a variable that can be avoided if parents share playful moments with their little ones.

However, the game in boys and girls allows them to understand the world in a better way. It is a way to learn while having fun. This helps the proper development of motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills.

We recommend you read: What is the level of physical activity that your child should do?

Four benefits of play in children for their mental health

  • Strengthens parent-child bonds: Moments of fun and learning make parents develop more trust with their children. In addition, it allows better emotional relationships to be established with the home.
  • Reduces stress levels: Any activity such as singing, dancing or playing, causes the body to produce endorphins and, therefore, this relieves stress in both parents and children.
  • Allows minors to process delicate emotions: Generally, boys and girls, at their young age, cannot explain their moments of anguish, pain or fear. Therefore, through play it is easier for them to express their feelings, either by recreating it through drawings or another playful activity. This makes it easier to understand what emotional situation they are in.
  • Increases confidence: Children value the accompaniment of their parents while they play. For this reason, paying attention to sons and daughters and spending time with them makes it something important and makes them feel loved.