As parents we are often tired after a long day and have no energy left for playing with our kids. Sometimes it’s just easier for them to play on their own while we get a break. Even thought it is tempting to take the time to relax when your child asks you to play with them, there are many important reasons why you should say yes to play.
Playing with your child helps them develop many different skills. It teaches them how to socialize, helps them with their gross motor skills, and can also help build communication for your child. It’s helpful for them to play with siblings, but a parent’s special interaction can’t be matched. Parents can offer structure and can vary play more than children their age or older. It can also help children mature as they develop.
It is also important to have one-on-one time with your children. It gives you an opportunity to bond more and makes your child feel special. Spending alone time with your child will allow you to get to know them more as a unique individual.
If you can play outside with your child it is also great exercise for everyone. Your child is getting activity outdoors, special time with mom or dad, and everyone is getting stress release. As a parent you are setting a great example for your kids and helping them to learn how to be a good sport and how to build gross motor skills.
Our kids need to learn independence, but they also need to know they have someone willing to engage and play with them. There are some situations where they cannot play alone and there will also be times when no one else will play with them. Don’t feel like you’re holding them back. You won’t have to be their only playmate forever, but you can give them a great start in being active and social.
When you play with your child you set the foundation for them for when they become adults. You will help them to learn about the world around them and you will be teaching them how to be a parent one day without even realizing it. You will be helping your child develop their own personality and unique abilities. Extra bonus, you’ll both be having a blast!