Tell me something: When was the last time you played with your son?
A few days ago my eldest daughter came to visit, she is already married and lives far from us so we only see her on vacations or very special situations. I have to confess that it is very easy for me to talk to her, we are dedicated to teaching so very often we end up talking about children and schools.
On this visit we talked as always about our students and the difficulties that children face today, we agreed that today more than ever children need their parents, parents who dedicate time to play, then, my daughter made a brief silence and then he told me. “Mom, you didn’t have time to play with me either” to be honest, her words squeezed my heart.
Suddenly, so many years of advising other parents telling them to approach their children, they seemed empty, my own daughter told me that I had not played with her. Almost immediately I replied to my daughter that this was a lie, that of course I had spent time playing with her! That adult daughter of mine, sitting there in front of me, suddenly became that little girl without some teeth and tangled Chinese hair who keeps asking me to play with her, once again she was in front of me but no longer asking me to played but to tell me that time was gone.
My daughter and I kept talking, I gave explanations that sounded the most to myself as justifications for all those days that she can’t, I didn’t have time, I didn’t play enough or I just didn’t want to play with her for a thousand reasons. We ended up happy and I think, a little closer because now she understands and lives the demands of adult life.
The holidays ended, she and her husband returned home and our conversation stayed with me spinning in my head. That’s where this article was born, because I don’t want you, when you’re older like me, to have the same thing.
Inventive Mom published an article related to what I am telling you, approaching the subject from the belief that parents don’t play much with their children because we have forgotten how to do it.
Whatever your life situations at this time, if you have young children, let me make some recommendations, hoping they will help you to get closer with your children through play.
Play is the most important job a child does
If they did not play, they would not develop their mind, nor their body, playing is the first sign that you are healthy.
Inventing, imagining and doing the same things a thousand times is a deep, serious and very significant learning process
Any baby seeks to do what adults do to practice and learn to live in this world. «Playing is serious» would say a great teacher I had; do not interrupt their playtime or if you see your child very focused, better watch her and learn.
Try not to decline an invitation to play
In our life there are invitations that under no circumstances would we miss. An invitation to play is the invitation to listen and participate in a lecture with the person you love the most in your life. Accept even if it takes longer to sit on the floor than the time you will play, all sincere effort is very valuable.
Never make the rules yourself, that is for adults because they give us logic, children do not require it at those times unless they propose it
Fantasy is vital don’t ruin it with reality
Be careful not to say phrases like “it is not true” “that does not happen like that” first watch and listen to the whole story before ruining the grand finale.
Sometimes all they want is our presence near them
You can explain that you play from your work table or choose to be the character that is mother who is working, they will still play with you and will demand minimum participation, but in the life register it will be that at least you tried, but do not abuse of this resource or you will never be invited again.
Put laziness aside
Take care of the important instead of the urgent
Answer that email, do you really have to answer it immediately?
And lastly, don’t feel guilty if you can’t play as often or as long as you and your children would like.
We will never be able to do everything, but whatever little or much we do we must do it with the best attitude and the best of spirits, don’t feel bad, much less blame yourself.
Look for other moments to balance the time and I’m going to give you a secret: take many photos of moments together, believe me, they will be the only evidence in your favor when the tender memory forgets what only the heart knows was true.