When you have kids, you think you have to be the parent all the time. That there is no fun involve. That you have to be strict and keep your kids on the straight and narrow. That playing is only for the kids. But that is so not true. There are so many benefits from playing with your kids.
And I don’t just mean that playing games with your kids benefits the kids development, because it does. But it also benefits the parents.
Think about it. You’ve had a really long stressful day. Constantly running errands or working. You’re stressed out. Tired. Worn down. The world on your shoulders. Now how would you feel if you take 30 minutes and make a fort with your kid and pretend you’re camping.
You have to fully get into it too for the benefits to work. If you’re truly involved, then you forget about the worry. You forget about work. You forget about the stress. Just for a little while. You’re enjoying yourself. You in make believe. You can leave all the stress behind just for a little bit each day. And it feels amazing. It also helps your kids. In such amazing ways. Our kids are only little for so long. They only live in make believe land for so long. They’re only willing to play with their parents for so long before they turn into preteens and teens and only want either their privacy or their friends. So why not jump right into their castle and be their shining knight while you both still can?
The time that you spend with your kids is extremely important to their development. Even if you’re in make believe land for 10 minutes. You’re helping their developmental skills. You’re helping them process things. You’re even helping them create stories. Beginning middle and end. That is essential when they start school. Many times my kid, who is in 2nd grade, has assignments where she has to make up stories. Like what she did for the weekend. She has to plan it out. Beginning, middle, end. So when you’re being the dragon to his knight, he probably came up with a beginning as to how the dragon invaded his castle, a middle as to why he’s fighting the dragon and the end where he defeats the dragon.
When you’re playing with your toddler, they hear you say the words. The mimic what you say. You’re helping them learn to speak. You’re helping them develop and fine tune their motor skills.
You’re helping them work with others by working with you. You’re helping them understand their own self control. You’re helping them with their leadership skills and how to handle their own emotions. The time that you take to play with your kids, is essential for the development.
I know as a parent we can be so tired. I know I am. Some morning I am up when my husband gets up for work. I take my kid and my nephews to school. I cook, clean, pay bills run all the errands. Pick the kids up from school handle homework. Do my own homework. Write a blog. Usually I am the one taking care of the yard. I try to take as much on as I can since my husband works 60+ hours a week. So, I am usually so tired that I just want to put my feet up for five minutes. Especially when my plantar fasciitis is acting up. However, when my two year old wants to pretend I’m a horsey… I become a horsey. When my oldest wants to pretend I am a monster she has to defeat, I become that big bad monster that gets defeated. It is easy to be stressed out, I am all the time. But I don’t want to pass that stress and anxiety on to my kids. I am a mom. Stress is my job and my husbands. Not our kids. It is also our job to create memories with our kids.