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We are busy, especially as moms, juggling schedules, homework and extra curricular activities. At the end of the day there isn’t much time left for play. This year is the first time I have experienced the hecticness of balancing household responsibilties with working full time. I can speak from personal experience that at the end of the day I’m wiped! Some days it is so much easier to turn on the TV for a while after dinner, or let the kids play on my iphone.
But tonight after Joel got off the bus, I kept the TV off and just let him play. He came up with an intricate game with his beyblade on the kitchen floor, making up his own rules and talking to himself as he played. It was beautiful to watch! I listened from the other room as he created an imaginary world.
As he grows up, and homework and sports starts to take up more and more time in the evenings, I fear that these imaginative moments will become fewer and fewer. But according to Stuart Brown, author of Why Playtime Matters to Kids’ Health and Brains, we can create opportunities for our children to play, in just about anything! Whether it is homework, or chores or a long car ride, opportunities to make life more playful are all around us.
“It’s not irresponsible to infuse play into the lives of our families,” says Brown. “It’s just the opposite; it’s the training ground for responsible adulthood.”
Play: The training ground for responsible adulthood.
I loved reading this quote. It couldn’t be more true. It is through play that our children learn to connect with other people and to stretch and grow physically, emotionally and socially. It is through play that they develop conflict resolution skills, and learn how to win and lose gracefully.
When was the last time you joined your kids in play? I don’t just mean throwing a ball in the backyard, but actually getting down on their level and joining them in their imaginary worlds? There is value in playing alongside with your children. According to Brown, when adults get in the game and actually play themselves, it introduces an important element of silliness and shared humanity, making the play more accessible, and helping children feel safer and more connected.
So go ahead and take a break from the hecticness and play with your kids!