Gerald Vest: Learning to Play with Children    
 Learning to Play with Children2 comments
picture21 Oct 2006 @ 15:36, by Gerald Vest

I recently started a blog on my forum to discuss "Learning to learn and play with children--being like children -- honest, open, accepting and loving."

I have introduced some of these activities on NCN; however, my forum provides an outlet for me to directly engage and exchange ideas, plans, theories and more with my students so it is convenient to introduce some of my brief articles on Delphi Forums as well. [link]

In Montagu's book Touching, p. 5, Andre Virel, anthropologist and neurologist, describes the "internal nervous system":

Our skin is a mirror endowed with properties even more wonderful than those of a magic looking glass. The primeval mirror that envelops the ovum splits apart only to be swallowed up within itself. Then it reappears on the other side of the original fissure. The divided mirror that is the skin and nervous system combined thus ends up looking at itself, so to speak, resulting in a confrontation that stimulates a never-ending movement of images and the birth of what is aptly referred to as reflexive thought.

Dr. Montagu follows this beautiful passage by further describing the changes that take place:

On our skin, as on a screen, the gamut of life's experiences is projected: emotions surge, sorrows penetrate, and beauty finds its depth. Soft, smooth source of youth's vanity, skin later bears wrinkled witness to the toll of years. Radiant in health, it tingles to the affectionate touch.

Obvious to me is the importance of touch conveyed by Dr. Montagu and others who introduce us to the dynamic nature of our skin and its relationships to all of the other systems of our organism. After reading these chapters, I even grow to appreciate massage and touch even more.

In the following article learning to touch is introduced for infant bonding:

Touch from another human being can be a nourishing medicine or a damaging poison. Without words, we can show affection by giving a hug or by stroking a child's arm, or we can show disapproval by using our hands to restrain a child's hand. The importance of touch for a child with deafblindness is apparent. The child will use this sense extensively to develop communication skills, to help orient in different environments, and most importantly to connect socially with others. This article focuses on the power of gentle touching and suggests ways in which touch can make a positive change in your life and the life of your child.

What does caring and loving touch do for infants? It is a necessary part of developing attachment between the child and parents. It is the beginning of communication between you and your child. Because you make him feel secure, the child learns to trust you and develops an emotional tie to you. The child's response to those feelings of security deepens your feelings of love and protectiveness towards him. It is what Dr. T. Barry Brazelton refers to as the parent and child "falling in love" with each other."The Importance of Touch in Parent-Infant Bonding" [link]

Please let me know how you feel about the use of healthy, respectful and loving touch with individuals, couples, families and groups.

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21 Oct 2006 @ 23:46 by jobrown : "...the importance of....
...coz "Blankies" can only do so much...  

21 Oct 2006 @ 23:49 by jerryvest : Yes, you are so right about this,
Blueboy. It took me a moment to understand what "Blankies" do for babies. Thanks for your comments.


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