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I have seven month old twins. I was looking for blocks on the Playskool site yesterday. I stumbled across a section that made the point play is more than just having fun–play also provides kids with a chance to practice important skills. One of the sections described the importance of Anticipation & Prediction.

Awareness that things happen in a sequence is the beginning of understanding order and what comes next. Anticipation & Prediction is an action or occurrence that happens over and over. By observing this repetition, the child expects that it will happen again. As children watch the action of a toy, they begin to recognize its pattern, and over time start to predict what will happen next. Anticipation & Prediction is one of the foundations for developing problem-solving skills—once a child can predict future results, they may modify their play to solve problems. In addition, recognizing order and sequence is an important skill to develop. For example, to be a successful speller, children must understand that letters need to come in a specific order to make sense.

These concepts of anticipation and prediction also made me think about a conversation I had with a client earlier this month.

I suggested to her that we start negotiations at $100,000. I told her that was the most a King County Jury would ever award for a broken rib. She said her friends had settled personal injury claims and received more than $100,000. Putting aside the fact that their injuries required significantly more medical treatment than a broken rib, her friends did not have the benefit of enough "repetitions" to accurately predict results. It would be comparable to watching a pair of dice rolled once and predicting, based on that single experience, that every time dice were rolled they’d come up "snake eyes."

Repetition allows children, and lawyers, to anticipate and predict. We’ve handled over 1,000 personal injury cases. That kind of experience is critical to anticipation, prediction and the ability to give meaningful advice to clients. It doesn’t mean we’re going to be right every time, but it provides a major strategic advantage.

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