Engaging with your child in special time

‘Special Time’ is a way of encouraging positive behaviours and effective communication skills for your child. They learn to become aware of their feelings and build trust and confidence within the relationship. This can be particularly useful for young children where the parent child relationship has become dominated by negative experiences, such as regularly ‘telling off’, saying ‘no’, and frequently giving consequences.

To Begin

  • Find a place to play with toys, or do the child’s chosen activity
  • Set a specified time for the play/activity e.g. fifteen minutes
  • Make sure you will not be interrupted

The Adult’s Rules of Special Time

  • Let the child lead the play; play with them or alongside them
  • Do not teach the child how to ‘do it right’
  • Do not judge what the child is doing
  • Watch the child carefully and talk about what they are doing

The Child’s Rules of Special Time

  • No aggressive behaviour (eg. Hitting or kicking)
  • Play must be safe
  • The child may not deliberately break a toy
  • The child may not run in and out of the play area
  • The play period is not extended
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