Improving the parent-child relationship through play


There is plenty of scientific research that shows that being out in nature reduces stress, increases attention span and learning. Children nowadays spend a lot less time in nature, compared to past generations, resulting in what Richard Louv, author of ‘Last Child in the Woods’, has called the Nature Deficit Disorder. The reasons being that parents may have anxiety surrounding the risks of being out in nature, the increase of urbanisation and thus reduction of access to the natural environment, and competition with screens – TVs, computers, phones and tablets.

There is, however, a great benefit in bringing back time spent in nature – particularly including improving the parent-child relationship through play in a natural setting. Play is a defining element for the harmonious development of children. Every child needs to play in order to develop oneself and to form a distinctive personality and a parent can efficiently prepare their child for the adult life through play.

Research undertaken by KIPS (Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale) has found that when the play occurs outdoors, the quality of the parenting is on average higher, when compared to play occurring indoors. There is also a direct effect of being in nature that influences the parent positively.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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