children-playtime-with-parents

To step in, or step aside?

We hear so much about the importance of independence for our children that it often causes us to be uncertain about whether we should get involved in their playtime. And for busy parents with heavy workloads and tight schedules, getting your hands sticky with playdough or role-playing as a doctor in order to entertain your little one is just out of the question. 

You may feel contented just by watching your child play by themselves and create their own kind of fun – which you can’t exactly relate to. However, many parents don’t realize that playing an active role in your child’s playtime can actually bring about many benefits.

Here are 3 reasons why you should start being involved in your child’s playtime:

1. Shape Early Childhood Development 

Interacting with your child during playtime helps to shape their early childhood development. Play session allows your child to build cognitive, physical and social skills that will last them all the way through adulthood. With you guiding them along the way, you can impart valuable teachings to them and watch as their social skills unfold right before your eyes. 

Be generous with your affirmations, as they are beneficial in inculcating self-confidence and esteem. While you praise your child, it is also important for you to correct them when they misbehave. Playtime allows you to observe your child more closely and gives you the opportunity to correct them whenever needed. Tell them nicely, and try to explain why they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing. 

It is also important to be enthusiastic in encouraging and motivating your child to try again after a failure or setback – having positivity is key in preparing the little one for bigger things as they grow up. 

2. Gain A Better Understanding of Your Child  

Your child is the most expressive, active, and creative when it comes to playtime. The exchanges you have with them will help you to gain a deeper understanding of their thought process and developing character. Through these observations, you can reflect on what your child is feeling, and learn how to better deal with their emotions. 

Even though your child may describe an incoherent story about a day in kindergarten, listening actively to them gives you an opportunity to understand what your child is interested in or passionate about. 

Talk and ask them questions. Who knows? Their replies and reactions might just fascinate you.  

Be generous with your affirmations, as they are beneficial in inculcating self-confidence and esteem. While you praise your child, it is also important for you to correct them when they misbehave. Playtime allows you to observe your child more closely and gives you the opportunity to correct them whenever needed. Tell them nicely, and try to explain why they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing. 

It is also important to be enthusiastic in encouraging and motivating your child to try again after a failure or setback – having positivity is key in preparing the little one for bigger things as they grow up. 

3. Form a Lasting Bond 

Being a part of your child’s play session creates an intimate and special bond with your child. The increased awareness and sensitivity to your child’s emotional and developmental needs will help to foster a closer connection than you already share. 

Showing your child that you care by listening and doing the things they love will strengthen your relationship with them and encourage better communication. Besides, playtime will allow you to spend precious time with them – who wouldn’t love that?

Now that you know why playtime with your child is beneficial, set some time aside and start unleashing your inner young heart! 

Reference List:

1. Anderson, Jenny. “Doctors Are Asking Parents to Enforce Playtime.” World Economic Forum, 24 Aug. 2018, www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/08/kids-are-so-busy-that-doctors-are-telling-them-to-schedule-playtime

2. Semling, Brian. “The Importance Of Parent-Child Playtime, and How It Shapes Early Childhood Development.” Strictybricks.com, 31 May 2018, https://strictlybriks.com/blog/the-importance-of-parent-child-playtime-and-how-it-shapes- 

3. “Special Playtime.” Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/communication/specialplaytime.html

4. Young, Sarah D. “Why Children Need to Play with Their Parents.” Consumer Affairs, www.consumeraffairs.com/news/why-children-need-to-play-with-their-parents-012716.html