Not too many people consider this, but there is a difference between play and being entertained. As children, many of us spend much of our days playing – lost I our imaginations, creating our own worlds, where we dream. At other times, we play games with rules that are set and learn concepts such as teamwork and effective communication in the process. Play is essentially in a non-stressed frame of mind and is quite imaginative.
Entertainment, on the other hand, may feature TV, online gaming, theatre, music or comedy. For children, it can be a good way to teach a certain skill or lesson in an exciting and fun way. For parents who may want to broach difficult subjects with their children, entertainment can offer a simple solution. Parents can choose shows that have a lesson and can use that to discuss the topic afterwards.
In some instances, entertainment can be used to reward good behaviour. Allowing children to enjoy playing games on tablets or smart devices when they have earned the privilege is one way to reinforce good behaviour.
What are the advantages of being entertained as adults?
It can be informative – think about all the documentaries that have successfully told historical narratives or acted as social commentary.
It can have positive effects on mental health– studies have shown that listening to live music has good effects on the brain, as “feel-good” chemicals are released, which has a positive impact.
It can be relaxing – certain forms of entertainment can provide effective relaxation tools, which have a positive effect on wellbeing.
It can be a good way to improve mood –one of the most well-known advantages of being entertained is that it can uplift mood, which is great for getting through a slump in performance or even reducing anxiety.
It can enhance our ways of thinking– entertainment can be a great way to educate and inform people about certain ways of life, concepts, narratives or thinking.