Once upon a time, we were all kids. And -get this- play was our language. It’s the language of childhood. Through play, children learn how to make sense of their world, connect with others, develop cognitive skills, and fine and gross motor skills. As one of my professors used to say “Play is work for kids!” And it is. But in the best possible way!
We know that one way to build deeper connections with our children is by joining their world in play. I know as a mama and someone that works with parents, that sometimes that is hard. Between work, school, practices, recitals, and making sure that they are fed and bathed, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to play. In addition, I know that now as an adult, play can feel like a foriegn language. I have a couple of ideas for you that I would like to share to take some of the pressure off of play.
I don’t know about y’all but as a working Mama I schedule everything. I live life in a color coded calendar. Why not add 15 minutes of playtime to that schedule? This will give you permission to put your phone down, not answer those emails, or say no to that pile of unfolded laundry because, hey, that time belongs to your kiddo.
So you know nothing about Minecraft, Pokemon, LOL dolls, or American Girl-that’s okay! Join them in the things that they enjoy most and let them be the expert for you. Let them teach you the secret to the Ender Dragon or which LOL doll has the best hair. We as parents are always the expert for our kiddos. Joining them in playing what they love (and letting them be the expert) is a great way to let them take the lead. Also when they are in the lead, you get to listen more, ask questions, and show a real interest in what they enjoy.
Touch is something that is so important to us as humans! We use it so much with our kiddos when they are little but as they grow and become more independent, we become more hands off, but they (and we) still need that soothing touch. Join your kids in a game of wrestling, basketball, tag, or hide-in-seek. You all will get your blood pumping, but you will also get some good safe physical touch in.
These are some simple ways to get your family playing, laughing, and building long lasting memories together! Think you might need some help connecting with your child? Meagan Jackson’s got you. Schedule an appointment with her today!
Meagan Jackson is our resident expert in all things parenting. She specializes in working with tough family relationships, and has over a decade of experience helping parents gain confidence in parenting. Contact us to schedule an appointment with Meagan today!