Your child who talks to himself and simulates spectacular accidents is discovering role-playing games. These games are important to his development, here's why.
“You are going to be the queen and I will be the princess. "No, I want to be the princess!" Your little girls play princess, your sons play dad and son and your youngest simulates serious accidents and spectacular explosions with his toy cars. You may be wondering if it is normal for your child to talk alone so often, if you should play with him, what to notice or if you should get him the objects he imagines… We discussed this with Solène Bourque, psychoeducator, and here is what she explained to us.
Reproduce everyday life
It is between the ages of 3 and 6 that children develop role-playing games, according to Solène Bourque. “Some earlier children will start around 2 years old, but in general, role-playing does not start until 3 years old. By appealing to their imagination, children play mum, dad, cook or mow the lawn and imitate their parents. Some children have a small kitchenette and use it to "cook dinner", but they can take anythingwhat dish, use what they find. “, says Solène Bourque who admits, in her entire career, that she has never seen a child who did not take part in role-playing games.
“When I worked in child care, I often told parents that we knew almost everything about their life by watching their child play,” she adds. Indeed, children adopt the role of their choice and transform the course of things as they please, but retain a lot of what their parents do and the atmosphere that reigns at home. This is what inspires them and this inspiration helps to understand the perception they have of their family.
I asked Solène Bourque if some roles could be worrying. For example, is it normal for a child to always play the bad guy? According to her, there are no good or bad roles and some children prefer to play the super hero villains simply because they are more powerful. “On the other hand, the characters that the children choose to interpret reflect their personality well. Little girls who have a lot of leadership may want to play teacher and be very strict. Still, they are very happy girls, but they want to control the situation,” she says.
Quieter or shy children will want to play the role of the baby instead, either to be more self-effacing or to get more affection. It is therefore possible for parents to learn more about the personality of their children by observing and learning about them.noticing the roles they prefer.
Boys and girls
According to Ms. Bourque, there are inherent differences in the sex of the child and she told us an anecdote to this effect. Two parents wanting to avoid assigning their boy and daughter male and female stereotypes gave their daughter three trucks and offered their son a Barbie. After a while, they realized that their daughter was lining up the cars so that they became "dad car, mom car and baby car" and the boy had ripped a leg off his doll which immediately became a gun. “Boys and girls have strong interests. she concludes.
The usefulness of role-playing games
Role-playing has several advantages. It allows us to see the fields of interest of our child and to know what he retains from the family dynamics. It also allows you to develop your imagination and your ability to create. When they participate in several, around 3 or 4 years old, they learn to play in collaboration for the first time. Indeed, until then, children play side by side, but when they play mother and baby or teacher and student, for example, they learn to interact.
It's also a great way to teach children self-care without the need for a particular toy. Indeed, when a sofa can become a castle and a branch easily turns into a sword, children have a better chance of nenever get bored, wherever they are.
What if he doesn't?
If you find that your child never plays characters, pretends to wash dishes, or replicates an accident by yelling "Boom" when playing with his cars, it's possible that it is in your interest to stimulate it further. Maybe he doesn't because he doesn't have enough opportunities to observe everyday scenes.
Involve your child in your activities and let them watch you cook, wash the dishes, mow the lawn and ask them to help you set the table. He will notice the details of your gestures and maybe he will want to reproduce them in his own way.
Perhaps your child is secretly playing roles because he is embarrassed in front of you. Some children don't like to put on a show and it's completely normal for them to want to act out on their own in order to enter their world without being interrupted. Let it play, you'll hear a few snippets once in a while and they'll probably put a smile on your face.