Play is another word that I think we need to explore more. To look beyond normative interpretations of what play is and to ensure that we are not labelling some children’s play as “behaviour” because it is making the adults uncomfortable or is deemed too young/basic for the child of a certain age. My neuroscientist husband told me that play is the brain’s way to adapt to a complex world, and that we never stop playing. How we play changes, of course. As mother I no longer need to play families to test out the roles because I live it… the same for shopping etc. Play is not just for learning either, it can be for muscle-building, or a sense of well-being, belonging, self-regulation or for the pure joy if it. It is important to remember that some play happens because children do not feel safe and they are self-soothing. What I think is important is that children have a wide repertoire of play and reasons for playing. Self-soothing as a play form is not problematic if it is one of many reasons a child engages in play. But if the majority of their time for play is filled with self-soothing play, then it is the responsibility of the adults to make the space safe enough for this child to feel brave enough to test out other forms of play – and not to forbid the play that is helping them thrive.