Playing With Your Children Today for Tomorrow
I am the lucky momma of three boys. They say that every boy goes through a stage in life when they want to grow up and marry their Mother. Well, my three-year-old, Jack, is there. The other day while driving his little voice piped up, “Mom when I grow up can you be mine and not Daddy’s?” I chuckled and then explained why that wouldn’t work.
Instead of getting married we both agreed that he would come home every Christmas with his own family. Obviously, those plans may change but it would make my heart so happy if they didn’t. As long as my boys and their families WANT to come home for Christmas then I want to have them. All of them.
I know what I don’t want. I don’t want my adult children stressing over the holidays- feeling obligated to “make the rounds” and dreading the time they need to “put up with family.” This would break my heart. I want my children, their wives and their children to be excited to come home for the holidays. I want them to love our time together. And that Starts now. While they are young. While they are open, willing and wanting to connect.
Bonding Through Play Time
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics one of the best things you can do for your child is bond with them through engaged play time- where the parent or caregiver enters the child’s world from their vantage point. Some professionals will say that playing with your child is the strongest form of bonding you can foster. I couldn’t agree more.
I see it with my own children daily. They crave time with me. It makes them feel special when I put down my cell phone or close my laptop and say, “Let’s play.” To them, those two words translate to, “I see you. You are important to me. I want to be a part of who you are in the world you live in.” Sending these messages to my children now will create a script in their hearts that will continue to play when they become adults. At least, this is my hope and prayer.
Benefits of Playing with Your Children
The benefits of playing with our children go beyond bonding. The Child Development Institute says that one-to-one and group play with children strengthen the following skills:
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
- Social Skills
Play time is also an effective way to teach your children values and empathy. Right now, Jack’s favorite game to play with me is one that he made up. It’s called, “Momma the Puppy.” Basically, I get on all fours and act like a puppy and Jack gets to take care of me. He loves it. He loves making the puppy happy when I whimper and he loves disciplining the puppy with time-out when I don’t obey. He loves teaching the puppy new things and living in a world where the roles are reversed and HE gets to be the leader. Watching Jack in this role also teaches me more about the way he is interpreting the world.
Living in the Moment
When launching our baby brand, Modish Mommy, one of the most important first steps we took was defining our value statements. We spent several hours sifting through what is truly important to us and what messages we want to send to our audience. There was a common theme as we began writing statements like, “Hands on Not Hands Full,” “Free Hands & Full Heart.” “Arms Filled With Baby Not Diaper Bags” and “Embrace Simplicity. Lighten Your Load.” All these statements echo our desire to see parents free up their lives so they can be in the moment with their children. So they can connect with them rather than stressing over “stuff.” This is the purpose of our diaper clutch brand and it is the lifestyle we want to encourage.