How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Rossi Your Own Question
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Dr. Rossi is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How important is it to let a child play? If a child rarely

This answer was rated:

How important is it to let a child play? If a child rarely gets to play without hearing criticism or negative statements without a good explanation and is not allowed to have any friends without an argument, can all of this do emotional harm to a child? I just wondered since I have sometimes witnessed in public places parents being this way with their children or overhearing co-workers talk to their children over the phone. Thank you.



Valid question. The level of hindrance would depend on the severity/consistency of parental criticism and rigidity displayed towards the child.

If these are just few occurrences here and there, it may not be as detrimental as if this was to be an ongoing treatment.


Play is an important component of the development of any child. You can even see play amongst animals. Through play, children learn about their environment and others. Imaginative play is also important as it allows the child to develop unique problem solving abilities. Experiential play can also be seen as providing the opportunity for social interaction (learning social skills and what behaviors are prosocial).


Very early on, children benefit from play as during play, their developing brain, creates new neural pathways amongst other benefits i.e. motor coordination, problem solving, presenting a creativity outlet, etc.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

If the criticism and negative statements are severe and ongoing, what could end up happening to the child emotionally as he/she grows up as a teenager and an adult?

Depending on the child's defense mechanism and coping skills, possible outcomes could be- social anxiety, feelings of inferiority, antisocial behaviors, low self esteem, concrete way of thinking, etc.
Dr. Rossi and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you