Friday, August 15, 2014

"Not enough play makes children wooden or worse"

"...major play deprivation, and the additional experiences of powerlessness, humiliation (imagined or real) practice with weaponry, and a deep sense of vengeance, again, imagined or real." - Stuart Brown on Elliot Rodger.

I've been interested in play for a long time. Let's look at it this way: does anyone really think the dry drunk, former cokehead, hubristic, self-deluded war criminal George Bush ever played? Not with two psycho parents and being ignored by them and raised by nannies.

Same with Barry Soetoro. A white trash race-traitor leftist mother who deserted him, a drunken polygamous father who also deserted him...get my drift? Does either of them appear to be happy?

Now I'm seeing overweight diabetic kids who don't play, stay inside all the time playing video games, and who have helicopter parents. What's going to be the end result of all of this? For one thing, you end up with entitled, narcissistic adults who have never grown up.

Both Brown and Peter Grey have pointed out these children who allowed proper play generally grow up to be disciplined, innovative adults who are resilient.

I adopt abused abandoned pugs, ones who weren't allowed to play. Pugs are normally the most affectionate and playful of dogs. The ones I get are psychotic and it takes a year to turn them into good dogs. One was close to being homicidal, except he was a pug and couldn't kill me.

I've heard a dog's life described as eating, sleeping and playing, and when they're sleeping they dream about eating and playing.

Now imagine much harder it is for people. Sometimes it doesn't work at all - think Elliot Rodger, who apparently only showed any normal behavior when a man talked some girls into tickling him. Playing.

There are two well-known scholar who study play. One is Peter Grey and the other is Stuart Brown. Both have noticed the horrible results created by a lack of play.

This article was written by Julie Power and is from the Sidney Morning Herald.


"Children who have been deprived of play may grow up to appear wooden like former U.S. vice president Al Gore, or in severe cases, mass murderers, says a visiting U.S. expert Dr Stuart Brown.

"The founder and president of the U.S. National Institute for Play, Dr Brown said research on homicidal males - starting with the Texas Tower mass murderer Charles Whitman - found many murderers had been 'severely deprived' of play as children.

"'The Texas Tower murderer opened my eyes ... when we studied his tragic mass murder ... to the importance of play, in that individual, by deep study, was found to have severe play deprivation,' he said in a TED talk.

"A former marine, Charles Whitman killed 17 people and wounded 32 from his sniper position in the tower of the University of Texas in 1966.

"Some attribute Whitman's killing rampage to a glioblastoma, a tumour on his brain which was detected in an autopsy, reported The Huffington Post.

"But Dr Brown said his research showed that Whitman - whose father was said by historians to be a strict disciplinarian - was severely deprived of play.

While his research on homicidal males was some time ago, he said it held true.

"'It is still accurate. [There's] evidence that a severely deprived childhood of play behaviour can lead to serious consequences.'

"Dr Brown was visiting Australia to address the first ever National Play Up Convention at Luna Park this week to explore the role of play among people of all ages.

"Since his research into homicidal males, the U.S. psychiatrist and play advocate has gone on to create nearly 7000 'play reviews' of a wide range of people. He has asked individuals to talk about their first toy, their pets, and whether they went on holidays.

"He also asked them:

"+ Were your parents playful?

"+ Who was the best friend?

"+ What kind of games did you play?

"Children who had a playful childhood became extremely resilient. They were more likely to be optimistic, perserverant, creative and cope under stress. Some companies he said were even hiring those who had playful childhoods because they more innovative.

"Dr Brown found the most successful people he interviewed, including Nobel laureates and business leaders, didn't separate play from their work.

"'They were self-generating individuals, whose play experiences were indistinguishable from their work life,' he said.

"He also argues that play encourages spontaneity and allows individuals to respond quickly in a crisis.

"'Those of you who remember Al Gore, during the first term and then during his successful but unelected run for the presidency, may remember him as being kind of wooden and not entirely his own person, at least in public,' he said in his TED talk.

"'And looking at [his history] from a shrink's point of view - that a lot of his life was programmed. Summers were hard, hard work, in the heat of Tennessee summers. He had the expectations of his senatorial father and Washington, DC. And although I think he certainly had the capacity for play - because I do know something about that - he wasn't as empowered, I think, as he now is by paying attention to what is his own passion and his own inner drive, which I think has its basis in all of us in our play history."

"The Arts Health Institute, the organiser of the Play Up Convention, has been using laughter therapy to reduce depression and aggression among nursing home residents.

"Advice from Dr Brown on how adults can some fun at work:

"Feeling depressed or grumpy?

"Get up and jump around.

"'Movement fills an empty heart,' said Dr Brown."

"The opposite of play is not work, it's depression, he said.

"And the quickest way to overcome this feeling is to add some play, either by moving, dancing or being silly.

"If that's not possible, he encourages people to remember a joyful time of play in one's childhood.

"The thing that's so unique about our species is that we're really designed to play through our whole lifetime,' Dr Brown said.

"Highly successful people have a rich play life." - Stuart Brown

3 comments:

Glen Filthie said...

I wonder if you aren't missing the mark somewhat, Bob?

My biggest complaint about the kids these days is that they have no discipline. Nor do they have any work ethics. Moreover, their problems seem to stem from neglect more than helicopter parents.

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about solitary play or play with others?

Bob Wallace said...

Both. I played more by myself than with kids, and when I played with them it was often just one kid.