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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience:  Dr.Mark is a psychologist in private practice who works with parents and children in resolving family issues.
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For Dr Mark......any games you can suggest..or activities to

Customer Question

For Dr Mark......any games you can suggest..or activities to strengthen the positive and permanent things in her life...perhaps play is best left to her at this age...I shall try and follow your advice to the letter ...many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.

Hi! You are very welcome for the previous answer and many thanks for the positive rating.

Games is a very interesting thing when it comes to 3 year olds. This is because not only are 3 year olds not yet fully developed in their motor skills (girls do develop faster than boys, especially when it comes to fine motor skills, but still not at 3 fully), they are also not fully developed cognitively and in their language skills. There's a lot of difference between every kid in a play group or preschool developmentally in what they can understand and what they can verbally express.


Therefore, games need to be very individualized and simplified. Meaning: you start with very simple game playing and then make the game more complex as you see she can grasp and cope with and enjoy. So, for example, a matching game is developmentally very useful at 3. You can buy them inexpensively, where there are cardboard backed pictures with groups of 2 matching ones. I then start out with 3 year olds putting them face up. That's right, I don't even try to force them to remember where a picture was by putting the cards face down. If I see that she's picked up the idea of finding the other card that matches this one by looking over the whole group of cards, then I might introduce covering them. Often a 3 year old will resist that, because she wants stability, not change. And so I will keep playing it in a way that's easy for her. Because that's relaxing for her.


And that is actually my point here: any game you pick up inexpensively that says it's good for 3 year olds will probably be fine if you simplify it and then bring it up to where she is cognitively, rather than the other way. Because you want to help her enjoy and relax more than anything else. She has enough instability going on. And she's growing and that's an inherent stressor. So, I recommend letting her be young when she wants to and not trying to get her to push developmentally. Because preschool or play group is doing that for her. And with the daddy situation, letting her relax means letting her be developmentally younger.

If she has some favorite toys from 1, or more years ago, bring them out to play with her and see if she wants to. Don't push her, but let her be younger. She has a lot of kid development she's expected to excel in every day. So, let her be young. If it means playing cuddly games on your lap, fantastic! If it means singing songs she liked as a baby, great!

Giving her the opportunity to relax and feel safe is the key for her, okay?

All right, I wish you the very best!



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Dr. Mark, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience: Dr.Mark is a psychologist in private practice who works with parents and children in resolving family issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, again I will follow your good advice and give you five stars..isn't it fascinating....phsycology I mean..I shall start with a "Dummies" book I think!...Sadly Daddy often leaves her with his mother when it is his time to have her. Is it ever justifiable for parent to cut contact with an irresponsible dad? The results of such rejection terrify me. To add to the complication of the situation, the mother now has a partner who has two other children of about six and seven years and is a single dad. How will this affect the baby?

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
Hi. Thank you for your nice words and positive rating.


You know, the questions you pose to me are such difficult questions. Social psychologists, developmental psychologists, and counseling psychologists are all attempting to quantify the effects of these dynamics you describe that have become much more common occurrances today. But there is no consensus at this time and there is no conclusive research evidence to guide us.


I think this is at least partly because each child is so unique, we are all so complex psychologically, that to know how your granddaughter will be affected by specific life circumstances is beyond our scope off knowledge or forcasting.


I can tell you that in general, ALL children thrive on stability. I think you know this intuitively and this is why you are so concerned. Can she thrive IN SPITE of the instability of her relationship with daddy and his family? That's where we can't really predict.


What we can do is to try to help her feel stable and loved in the main portion of her life. I've treated adults who as kids lived very unstable lives, ones we don't want to really think about too much. But they tell me they had, for example, a grandparent who was a stable force in their life. When the grandparent called, they knew they were loved; and when they got to visit, it was a safe haven. So, kids are very resilient and a little love and positive feelings, praise, etc. can have great effect.


I'd like you to thikn of yourself as an "antidote" to that situation with his family and his lack of commitment. Because when she looks back, that's what you really will have been.


I wish you the very best!



My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me. If the answer has been helpful, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark.

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