In order to understand the mother-child relationship, care is important. Caring acts can be actualized when two subjects—the cared-for and the one-caring—interact. To contribute to understanding the ways in which caring actions can be identified by both child and mother during their play activities, this qualitative study examines Korean mother-child play interactions from a critical perspective through the basis on the typology of caring acts (Korth, 2003). For this purpose, two Korean motherchild dyads who are living in the U.S. were recruited. Observations of play activities of the two mother-child dyads and face-to-face in-depth individual interviews with two mothers were conducted for seven months. The results suggest that Korean mother-child caring relationships may be reciprocated through the child’s active engagement in the caring relations as well as the mother’s.
Implications for early childhood scholars and professionals working with diverse families are discussed, as well as future directions for research.