Monday, March 21, 2011

Mommy Monday

It's a rainy, dreary afternoon here.  Jesse had off from school today.  After a morning at McDonald's Playland, the older kids I played a few games of UNO.  It is a lot of fun now that they are old enough to play games (real games, not Candyland).  I love playing games, it is something that is an easy way for me to engage the kids.  But play in general is hard for me.  I have been convicted over the years about not getting down on the floor and playing with my kids enough.  I often need to physically pull myself away from my agenda and engage them.  Isn't funny how hard it is for us grownups to play?  I would think we would jump at the chance to stop life and be a child again.  I used to play house by the hours when I was a kid but not when Karis asks me to play house with her, I hesitate and I stall, I don't know quite what to do.  Most of the time I can divert her attention- a tea party game, setting up her doll house, playing babies, these things are a lot easier for me.  Some things I enjoy doing with Silas right now are sitting on the floor with him and pushing cars back and forth, setting up train tracks and pushing the trains around.  With Jesse, I like to play chess (when the other kids are occupied), build Legos.  I have learned over the years that it doens't have to be elaborate play, they really just want my attention.
I am trying to work at losing my inhibitions and my to do list and engage more.  Sometimes I think it is just a matter of poor time management and mis-ordered priorities.  I am trying to be better at both of these things, I am thankful that because of God's grace, it is never too late!

What are some ways you play with your kids? 
What is hard about playing for you?  


Stephanie said...

Hello! Thanks for sharing. I used to have those same inhibitions about playing with my daughter. As she & her sister grow, it becomes easier. When I worked, my stress level left very little time/energy for my older daughter. Now that I've been home with her & the baby, things have changed for the better. I've learned to PAUSE and ASK myself why I can't spare some time to hang out. It's a good practice that reminds me daily how precious this time with them is.

Sullivan's Mom said...

No pressure, but here's what I've started thinking about play. Years ago, our kids' play would have been following mom and dad around the house/farm doing chores.
The fact is (and I'm speaking from my own perspective as a teacher and mom, here) that we are our children's first and most important teacher. There is an actual purpose and benefit to isn't just to keep our kids busy so we can get work done. So here're some things we started doing around here....
when I (or David) am cooking, cleaning, working in the garden... Sullivan comes along...he can dust and swiffer...dry and wash dishes....break open eggs or mix ingredients. He helps put laundry in the washer and dryer.
Anyway...there's a very important place for unstructured play, but those times of more structured (or intentional) play are so important as well. About a year or so ago, I made an "Intentional Play" basket with sorting games, color things, "play" with Sullivan. So we'd choose an activity to play from our box.
Helping around the house and thinking ahead of time of skills that are developmentally appropriate doesn't take much time at all. I've found that having Sullivan help in the kitchen always cuts down on stress for both of us. The best thing about kids in these toddler years, is that their play naturally stems from some ancient part of them that used to hunt and gather and take care of babies and work on the farm. Kitchen play, taking care of baby doll, exploring and investigating....I think play is such an interesting part of development..sorry to ramble!