It’s often challenging for a young child to articulate what they truly desire. Their whims may range from implausible wishes like going on vacation right after school to mere indifference with a shrug and an “I don’t know.”
Instead of directly questioning what they want to do, engage them in a different way. Ask them to envision what they would do after school, on weekends, or for vacations when they are older and have their own children. Alternatively, engage in pretend play with them.
This approach may yield answers that are more insightful and realistic than directly asking what they wish to do.
Peter Gray on the multiple lines of evidence indicate that play deprivation is a major cause of the mental health crisis among young people.
— Read on jonathanhaidt.substack.com/p/the-play-deficit
“Young primates have always invited serious injury by play-climbing and falling. Primatologists view these behaviors as a critical means of fine-tuning fundamental motor skills. And despite the rise of “ultrasafe” playgrounds in the 1990s, many developmental psychologists contend that risky play is essential for healthy growth and development in children, perhaps because risk-taking helps kids regulate their fears, providing a kind of blueprint for responding effectively to real-life danger.”