Children are a playful lot and they will turn almost every serious activity into a game. This may be quite annoying for most adults so they opt to buy their kids all the toys they can set their hands on. This provides some kind of structured play and relieves a little pressure from the parents.
Some parents go the extra mile and even choose to play with their kids. The likelihood is that the parent will tell the child what to do or how to play the game. It is quite normal because adults have rules ingrained into them so doing things as they should be done may be quite a preoccupation. Sometimes it is just an innocent attempt by the parent to teach their child a new skill.
That is all commendable but it is not really advisable. Why, you ask? Well, it may seem like just play or a waste of time to you but to your child that is actually her first school. Play allows your child to learn new things and explore different theories that they may have. Blocking the tap with their finger or jumping into a pool of muddy water may seem like a mess to you so you may warn her against it but to her it probably looks like a chance to see how water behaves when different things are done to it.
Putting limits and rules to what she can’t do is bound to curtail her learning experience since she will only do what you propose. The more you try something the better you become at it and this goes for play as well. Your child’s brain continues to develop with play and skills like balance, self-regulation and even coordination will be learnt.
Leave them be
It is very easy to get carried away as you insist on showing them how things are done so it might be best if you just stepped aside. Give them the toys or whatever items they usually play with and watch from a distance. Resist the urge to get into the game with them if you know you will meddle. Meddling in this case is any kind of direction or instruction because it is important for them to figure things out for themselves and possibly discover new things that you probably don’t know yourself.
Let them lead
If by any chance you end up playing with your child, whether by choice or invitation, let your child guide you. They probably don’t know the rules of the game they are playing but they have not asked you to tell them either. Let them find out how it should be done on their own or better yet, let them invent a new game altogether.
Do as they say without question because that is their way of acquiring new skills. You will definitely learn something new about yourself and about your child as well. Who knows, you may end up enjoying the new game!
It is important to interact with your kids and you engaging them in the simplest activities will allow them to grow intellectually. You do not have to wait until you slot in a time for play so that you get to enjoy your child’s company.
You can use trips to the mall or simple walks around the neighborhood to get your child to learn new things. You can count items as you walk along the street or allow them to help you make dinner. Remember to give your child your full attention when playing with them since this boosts their confidence levels as well.