As a parent, surely you have ever asked yourself the following question: 'Why do I have to play with my son?' To which I could answer: 'And why not do it?' This is what is gained and lost when parents play with their children. Read it and you will have the answer to your question!
Surely you have ever been in the following situation. More than one, or one, has come home tired from working after a hard day. Thousands of worries, bills, tasks keep swarming in their heads, as if it were a carousel. Without margin to get rid of them, we find that the washing machine, the next day's food, the iron are also waiting for us ...
Among this maelstrom of thoughts, which some require an immediate solution, a high-pitched, intense, percussive, childish voice creeps in without warning. This sound comes from one of their children, who, happy to see them again, show their affection while demanding a little attention and time. At that moment, from their mouths slips a phrase that they did not count on: 'Dad! Mom! You want to play with me?' Both for those who have decided to continue with their adult concerns and for those who are already rolling on the ground, here are a series of considerations.
- Playing means sharing and spending time with the family
They participate in a playful activity that amuses us all and allows us, for a while, to get away from the routine and the burden of obligations that traps us daily. Through the interaction with our children in the game, they see us playing a more carefree and jovial role, different from the one they are used to due to the stress of our daily obligations and burdens. It is about carrying the backpack of positive emotions, of pleasant and fun experiences, of positive stimuli that we may need in future more tense moments.
- Playing forces equalize
The rules are the same for everyone, moreover, now the child can be the one who takes the upper hand explaining and organizing the meaning of the game and directing the game, which gives them the possibility of putting themselves in the place of their parents and assessing the pros and cons of having a responsibility. It is convenient to leave them free for them to direct trying not to impose the way of playing.
At some point, adults can find it boring to always play the same thing with them. The child tends to repeat the same games and actions, among other things, because they provide him with pleasure, give him security and help him strengthen his potentials. On these occasions, do not rush them, it is better to be patient and let them freely change their activity.
- Playing is communicating and expressing yourself
Playing we are observers on the front line of the evolution of our children. We see how they acquire vocabulary, how they manage to tell us what they need when the game gets complicated and, in this sense, it is very good not to give them the solution right away or speak for them, but to allow them time to think and express what they want to that they are gaining in communicative autonomy. In an indirect way, we can also modulate and rectify what they say and how they say it.
Non-verbal communication is also important and the game is a good opportunity to get to know children by observing those behaviors that give us information about them. In this sense, we can realize the attention they pay to the game, whether they disperse easily, how they carry the waiting turn, whether they are restless or quiet children, etc.
Sometimes playing with our children we observe that they can immediately become frustrated and abandon the game because they have encountered a difficulty. It is a good time to give them the opportunity and help them to solve those problems, to think and find a solution for themselves that allows them to move forward and evolve. In this way we are working with them that they do not lower their arms or give up the moment they encounter an obstacle, which will surely help them in other contexts and situations.
In a game it is important to follow a minimum of rules, especially in children who are already getting older. With this they are adjusting to patterns of social behavior where respect prevails, valuing the rights of the other, learning to accept that there are situations that are not always going to be beneficial and also, why not, assert themselves before others.
Playing with them, and related to the above, is the fact of how important it is to be in the front line when our son has to lose and see what his reaction is, his tolerance for frustration. It is interesting to make him see, in situ, that defeat is something inherent to the game and that a new game is another opportunity in which to try and progress. In the same way, respect to the contrary when winning, humility and camaraderie are important assets to take into account in this game and learning process.
Observing how our children play allows us to analyze their capacity for imagination, his development of fantasy, of free thought; but also their fears, their worries, their longings. Being close at that moment may make us understand behaviors that before we did not give importance or we did not find an explanation.
Playing with them is a great opportunity to promote gender equality, avoiding playing stereotypical games - only for boys or only for girls. Joint participation without differences, fair treatment in the development of the game or equal opportunities is learning very rich that is going to be extrapolated to other contexts and that children have to naturalize as soon as possible.
Responsibility is another issue to highlight. After playing, it is time to collect, there are some minimums to maintain such as order or cleanliness and respect the harmony of a common space that is shared within the house. It is important that the child gradually becomes aware of a sense of belonging for what his things are, which leads him to take responsibility for their good condition. But as important as this fact, I would highlight the emotional value implicit in caring for toys. This is related to the opportunity to generate new opportunities to enjoy the game and the pleasure of doing it with their parents.
So when the obligations allow it, play with your kids, and when you do, don't forget to enjoy and pick up afterward.
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