In our previous blog post, we discussed how anxiety and depression can set the stage for bullying. One simple solution could be "play." Here is an excerpt from author Peter Gray, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology (emeritus) at Boston College who lists 5 ways in which "play" can help a child reduce anxiety and depression.

1. Play gives children a chance to find and develop a connection to their own self-identified and self-guided interests. 

2. It is through play that children first learn how to make decisions, solve problems, exert self control, and follow rules. 

3. Children learn to handle their emotions, including anger and fear, during play. 

4. Play helps children make friends and learn to get along with each other as equals.  

5. Most importantly, play is a source of happiness.  

According to Gray, "play" offers enormous psychological benefits and protects children from anxiety and depression. So why are some playground games being banned?  Are we becoming overprotective? Why are some schools cutting back on recess and other schools completely eliminating recess?  Are they under that much pressure to meet standardized testing goals? What is your opinion?

The Atlantic (October, 2011) All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids Are More Anxious, Depressed. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/all-work-and-no-play-why-your-kids-are-more-anxious-depressed/246422/