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Effective Parenting Series #1 - PLAY as Key to Nurturing Healthy, Happy Children

Updated on August 12, 2012

Play as the Key to Effective Parenting

I was approached by my friend, who's a pre-school teacher in Manila, Philippines to help her elaborate the essence of the Manual on Effective Parenting.

She, along with other pre-school teachers in Metro Manila were subjected to a rigorous training on how they can become the effective pseudo-parents or second parents of the kids in school.

I jested that I haven't been a parent to my own kid. In fact, there's a rumour that I sired one out of wedlock but I had yet to see her( my daughter) in person (her mother died, as told by my brother-in-law).

This sidebeat lightened the mood of our conversation as she gave me the whole cache of manuals regarding Effective Parenting.

The booklets are made for Filipino Parents, with the aid of UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and special educators from the known universities in the country, as in University of the Philippines (UP).

I cannot reject the invitation to do some research on the subject, especially on the topic that was assigned to her, along with other pre-school teachers.

She was handling nursery, kindergarten 1 and kindergarten 2 classes, effectively but she whined that documentation is not her cup of tea.

Well, I came to the rescue (as always). I cannot leave a lady in distress, if her future in teaching pre-schoolers will be on the line.

As of now, I collected my thoughts and recall on how effective my parents were in rearing me and my brothers and sisters to be good citizens of this country.

And the magic word or the triggering factor for successful parenting is PLAY.

Cover photo on Manual on Effective Parenting (Photo by Travel Man)
Cover photo on Manual on Effective Parenting (Photo by Travel Man)

Play as a tool for learning

As the manual suggests, parents can utilize PLAY as a tool for learning in order to facilitate cognitive, social and emotional learning.

  • cognitive - refers to the mental processes of the children;
  • social - how they mingle with other kids; and
  • emotional learning - how they handle situations with others.

As parents, they should learn aabout practices which may contribute on the development of a healthy self-esteem and concept of the child.

  • self-esteem - means the positive and negative evaluation about himself/herself; and
  • concept of the child - the perception of one self or what the child think about his/her self.

With the help of the teachers, parents during meetings, are always reminded of their roles on how to enhance the self-esteem and concept of the children.

Now, enters the use of PLAY as a tool to enhance learning and self-development.

From what I've seen in the classroom of the pre-schoolers, my friend always insert or associate PLAYTIME when children become bored with the day's lessons.

Their advice for the parents: Accept their children as they are.

They should have an ample time in playing with them wisely.

  1. During mealtime, parents can design the egg with a smile of tomato sauce, so that they can encourage their children to eat healthily while playing. Children can be easily distracted by the program on television (especially cartoons) while eating. Why not associate it to the present dish? Name it with funny titles.
  2. Playtime at the park can be as effective as playing catch or Frisbee. Children can easily socialize with other children while playing slide, hide-and-seek or parents can personally enroll them at the local martial arts gym, or at baseball class. Or dads can personally teach his child with the basics of football or basketball.
  3. Playtime in the kitchen will also encourage children to be good cooks in the future. Parents should never scold children pestering them at their preparation table. Instead, they should encourage them crush the garlic, split beans, whisk the egg or simple task like designing cookies and the like. They can teach them how to use microwave oven and other kitchen utensils effectively at an early age. I'm sure, their visitors will be surprised if Kids can really cook!
  4. Storytelling is an effective example of PLAY as in role playing. They'll scream for a white lady costume or even a grotesque or macabre mask with the sound of ghosts or living dead. Bedtime stories for children are episodes that they'll cherish most even if they grow up.

Children look up to their parents as HEROES.

In my own experience, I always evade being spanked by my father. When he did it to me, my fascination to him as my personal hero suddenly faded away. Although, he became my best friend in the latter stage of his life (he died on 1998), he left with me some sparks of effective parenting, to wit:

  • He said that, "children should experience punishments (not he harsh ones) during their childhood, so that they will realize what is right and what is wrong."
  • Parenting will always be difficult, as experienced by Adam and Eve with their sons, Abel and Cain.
  • Think seven times or more, before you do something that can harm you, your family and the whole community.
  • Help the weak ones or poor ones in secret.

My mother also inculcated in us about our respect with other people, especially the elderly.

They're God-fearing, so, we, their children also become one as we practice how to be good examples to others.

Playtime with my nieces (Photo by Travel Man)
Playtime with my nieces (Photo by Travel Man)

Campaign on Effective Parenting here at HubPages

Maddie Rudd, HubPages staff wrote about the site's campaign on how effective parenting can be put to test by engaging their children into cooking spree during Mondays.

Hubbers can now share their food recipes to interested parents and children who would like to try their hands in the kitchen.

HubPages tied up with non-profit Healthy Kids Challenge through The Kids Cook Monday to lighten up the Mondays of the families who are interested in the challenge.


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: Yes, you better work it out! She's already growing and showing a kind of confidence that will result a good future for her if you will double-time doing your share as a single parent.

      Good luck!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @the girls: Thanks for your vote of confidence. No doubt about it! :D

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @raciniwa: Yes, I agree with what you explained regarding the 'rod'.

      I experienced painful punishments by stick and I learned to be a disciplined individual.

      True, my father used to display the rod at one corner in the living room in order to remind us that a mistake committed by one of us can result in a varying punishment using that stick.

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I might have lack in nurturing my only child when she was growing up but I'm making up for the lost time. Thanks for sharing this hub! :D

    • the girls profile image

      Theresa Ventu 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      You are sooo ready to be a dad and soon to be a hero:-) Good hub!

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 6 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      Well, there is not training school for parents thus it is always a trial and error process...The Bible admonishes us Not to spare the rod in order to guide the child, yet if one looks closely the rod mentioned in the Proverbs is not intended for punishment but for guidance, to show the way or else the child grows unlearned....

      This is a useful hub for parents and teachers on the importance of good parenting...