My last visit to the UAE was once again an incredible experience. My return to the desert since my last visit in 2016 meant that I was able to talk about my most recent piece of research on the power of interactions during play.
I visited Wesgreen International School where I delivered a session to a group of parents. The session began with a discussion about home routines and a brief analysis of how children respond when the adult takes a less authoritarian role. Parents had the opportunity to connect with their children during a series of activities. It was a very rewarding learning experience for parents and myself as a researcher. Parents had to approach the activity without giving instructions and needed support to use open-ended questions that led to independent thinking. As a result, the children were able to use various natural materials and came up with wonderful creations. This showed that children can take ownership of their own thinking when we let them explore the world. The type of interactions that took place during the session gave children a voice and parents more of an understanding about human connections.
I was also very fortunate to meet with Dr Huseil. He inspired me to continue with my research so that we can go back to valuing human connections.