When we first received our foster son we were told that he didn’t play with other children, but did parallel play. I thought that was interesting for a 5 year old, but it was honestly a low priority when we first got him. I just wanted him to be comfortable in our home during this transition and from there we could look at other concerns.
After a couple of weeks of getting him settled in we slowly started having him interact with other kids. He did do parallel play and I wasn’t quite sure how to encourage playing with others. He would play with Kyle and me so why wasn’t he playing with the other kids? One of the first things I noticed was that it mattered WHAT the other kids were playing. If he didn’t like the game he would do his own thing, but if he did like the game he was all about it. Want to play house? Forget it. Want to play run and jump and scream? You’ve got yourself a player.
When it came time to go to my friends child’s birthday party I was really curious to see how he would do with the other kids. One of the first things he ended up doing was going on a see-saw with my niece and they were on it for awhile! I was SO excited. Then he ran around and was playing by himself, but later he went on the trampoline with about 5 other kids! They were running around laughing with each other and just being silly! I didn’t even mind that his BRAND NEW (adorable) outfit was black and stained from the trampoline.
This might just look like a dirty pair of shorts to you, but to me it symbolizes a day of fun and playing with others. Seeing these brand new shorts so dirty brought me immense joy! Our foster son was just a typical kid for a day playing with others instead of doing parallel play. ❤