Charlie Walker-Wise, Business Development Manager, RADA in Business
I have a theory. It goes something like this: first we celebrate play in children, then we indulge it, then we tolerate it, and then we squash it.
When a baby becomes a toddler and begins to interact with their environment we are thrilled and encourage its experimentation through play. As toddlers become children we accept the games they play, the make-believe worlds they create, understanding that these are important for them to make sense of the world around them.
But at about the age of 7 or 8 we change the language we use with children. We start to say things like 'grow up' and 'stop behaving like a child' and 'act your age'. The absurdity of making these statements to a child looks stark out of context, doesn’t it? But when flung out in frustration, how much thought is given to the damaging language and its effect? Suddenly investigation through experience becomes a bad thing. We risk shaming children for their curiosity and experimentation.