I recently read an article where they asked some parents if they actually enjoyed playing with their young children. They really should have filmed their responses so you could feel the awkward silence in the air, and see the horror in their eyes knowing they were about to lie to the world.
An unbelievable 75% of them said ‘Yes’. The other 25% said ‘No’, but then sugar coated it by saying that they love their kids, they cherish them and one blamed her age for just not ‘coping’ with active play.
Come on people. Just tell the truth.
Everyone I have asked this question to, face-to-face, has responded with a ‘No’, or a sugar coated ‘No’, or pretended to not hear the question and run away blaming their kid for their quick exit.
It’s okay. Playing with toddlers/kids is really not a fun thing to do for us grown adults. Especially when it’s the same game over and over, plus when you have just got so much shit to do.
Dads love to play with their kids. Grandparents love to play with your kids. Other kids love to play with your kid. The imaginary friend loves to play with your kid. Kids love to play with their own reflection. But stay-at-home parents? Nope. Not really.
I honestly will tell you, that for me, imaginary play and making up stories…….I am 100% crap at. My toddler looks at me hopeful with the expectation that I am going to make his world into a made-up wonderland……
I got nothing kid. Sorry.
That is my downfall. Imaginary play. And I am a freaking graphic designer!! Creativity is what I live by. I just need hours to think about it first.
Oh, and another game I suck at is hide-and-seek (even though I get lots done when he hides. Sometimes I have forgotten we are playing and the poor kid is still hiding 20 minutes later).
So I don’t suck at playing at everything. Just those things. Some people probably hate all play. But I can do some. But only if I get to choose the ‘game’.
The ‘games’ I would choose to ‘play’ are below:
“Yum. Yum. Vege Garden” – Make it sound fun, or your kid will switch off immediately. This one is a cool idea for kids I think. We planted seeds awhile ago, and finally are seeing our results. Obviously this ‘game’ isn’t for the impatient. You do have to wait weeks and weeks and weeks for anything ‘fun’ to happen. Only yesterday we picked our first baby carrots – they weren’t shitting us on the ‘baby’ part either (see pic). So your kid could get bored of this one quick. But hey, I thought it was a goodie.
“Let’s Clean, Sing and Dance Around the House”* – As I said above…..make it sound fun. My 2 year old loves this game. He will get the duster out and crack up laughing as he dusts (half-arsed I must say) down the furniture. We crank the music and sort of get the house cleaned. Hey, I am happy to finish cleaning the other half later. At least some of it’s done. If you are one of my readers who knows how much I hate cleaning then you will understand where I am coming from here.
*If I hear any smart mouthed comments about slave labour, I won’t be a happy mummy.
“We Love to Weed, Weed, Weed” – I am talking pulling out the weeds people. Don’t get all weird on me please. My toddler loves to be outside, so he loves this one. Yes, we hardly get much done, but at least while I am weeding, he can do laps on the lawn, kick the ball, climb the tree, and pull out the odd blade of grass (his version of weeds). So I am Mother of the Year with this one – he’s outdoors, he’s getting exercise, I am encouraging the inner horticulturist in him, etc etc.
“Time For Mummy’s Massage” – This one is like a 30 second ‘game’. Doesn’t last long unfortunately. My toddler is all happy to play this game. He starts playing with Mummy’s hair, he rubs my arms and is nice and quiet (for 30 seconds remember). Then it turns into this hell hole ‘game’ by him pulling my hair, punching me in the arm, and running off pissing himself laughing. That’s what I get for having a boy I spose.
“Let’s Play With Next Doors Cat” – If you follow my page on facebook, you will know that we have sort of ‘adopted’ the cat over the road, without the owners’ knowledge. We all get along for awhile. All three of us, just chillin’ and singing hip hop songs together. My kid loves this cat. The cat loves me. I love my kid. We are just one big happy ‘thing’ when we get together.
They are all the games I can think of that I don’t mind doing with my kid. Don’t call me a lazy Mum if you don’t agree that these are ‘fun’. I do heaps with my son. It may not be playing his so called ‘games’, but I know he is learning along the way, he is happy, he is healthy, and that’s the way it should be.
Let me know if you do actually enjoy playing with your children. And what games you do at home with them in my Comment section below.
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p.s. The other game I just thought of was “Let’s See Who Can Stay The Quietest For The Most Amount Of Time”. I am awesome at this game. Reeve on the other hand fails at this game badly.