Playing is a big part of every child’s growth process. Children play not just for fun but for development as well. Playing with your kid is important because it helps develop the child’s ability to learn new skills, bond with those around, manage their feelings and practice communication and language skills. According to child psychologist Lawrence Cohen ‘’Playing with a child is a way of entering into the child’s world on his terms and to build a connection, confidence and closeness’’.
Parents find it challenging to play with their children because they can’t seem to strike the right balance between dominating and letting the child dominate. So let’s look at a few ways in which you can make playing with your child beneficial.
Follow the child’s lead
When playing with kids you should let them lead while you keep an eye on them, it develops their confidence and character. Listen to your child without ordering them around, instead of competing let the child win. Even if the child is cheating, let it slide without drawing attention. It is valuable to find common ground so that you don’t have to boss your child around or tell them exactly what to do at every stage. Play along if they decide to switch games or change the rules. You can practice this method with puzzles, card and board games.
Leave room for trial and error
Remember your child is still growing, so mistakes are allowed; let children make mistakes over and over until they get it right. At this stage, exploring is the best way to form an opinion on the things around them. Be flexible and let the rules of the game be broken every now and then or reinvent the rules to suit the child’s needs. Sometimes all your child might need is affection, encouragement, attention or a hug.
Support and encourage your Child
Be your children’s greatest cheerleader, encourage and boost them as you both play. This will go a long way to build the child’s confidence and self-esteem; introduce games and toys that will create a fun atmosphere for your child to relax. Games like catching a ball, lego building, arts and crafts or anything creative could be used to explore your child’s imagination.
Take your time
Parents are sometimes busy or impatient with their kids who want to play the same game repeatedly for log hours, this is overwhelming but know that children like to do the same thing over and over again. Do not rush your child or try to force the child to do what you want but instead focus on what they want. Try not to structure the amount of time you spend with your child or make children feel like you are playing with them out of duty and obligation, make it fun.
Well, those are a few tips on how you can make playtime with your children not only fun but engaging and relaxing as well. All you need is the right approach and some accessories or toys to make playing much more enjoyable for you and your child and at the end of the day, that is what matters.