Written and narrated by the author, Carmen Viktoria Gamper.
Just as adults benefit from talking about their challenges with friends or a therapist, many children benefit from processing upsetting experiences during pretend play. Perhaps you’ve noticed that when children freely play with blocks, stuffed animals, dolls or action figures, they frequently create pretend worlds. They craft exciting tales that are a mix of recognizable real-life events, movies and shows, and completely invented stories.
During this kind of pretend play, children frequently experience the “flow state,” which is a deep state of focus that allows them to balance their thoughts and emotions in alignment with their stage of development. This kind of play is an innately healing activity that provides children a way to safely re-experience events they perceived as confusing or frightening within a context that makes sense to them.
Children’s inner tension can stem from challenging real-life events, such as a doctor’s visit; or from overhearing a parental conflict; or from virtual events, like seeing something scary on TV. In fact, “playing out” frightening screen content is particularly important because it allows...
Carmen Viktoria Gamper has worked internationally as an educator, advisor, coach and speaker for child-centered education. As founder of the New Learning Culture program, she supports parents, homeschooling families and schools in safely offering child-directed, flow-rich learning environments.