As parents, we always try to give the best for our kids our entire life, and this involves working round-the-clock jobs, managing kids’ education, health, and so on. The sheer responsibility of raising a child is daunting and can easily overwhelm the best of us, leading to a negative spiral. Children learn by observing us, and our anxiety could impact them in more ways than one.
First resort would be- Deep Breaths!
From what we have heard from parents, this pressure could be reduced by including play in our parenting arsenal. The power of play is formidable, not only it helps you raise a happy child, but makes the process of care giving and parenting fun in everyday life. It can de-escalate many common parenting challenges and we have great examples for you.
As you may know, research suggests that 90% of brain growth happens before kindergarten, and playing with both parents and peers is key to building thriving brains, bodies, and social bonds. It helps in a child’s development and is a great way for the parents to encourage skills that would help them cope in all the stages of their life.
Here are a few tips on how you can add play to your parenting style making the process fun for you and your child.
1. Follow your child
Each child is different, let what amuses them find a way through. It could be a simple car race or a cute tea party. Get to their level and get involved in the playtime, like, being a regular guest at the tea party or being the driver in the race and asking them to give you directions on where to go. This not just helps you bond with your child, but also gives them confidence and leadership skills. They also feel comfortable sharing their point of view with you.
2. Family time
Spending time playing where everyone in the house is involved gives them a huge rush of excitement. Activities like singing and dancing together, taking walks, bike rides, swimming, gardening, board games, freeze dancing or just playing hide-and-seek, can help in creating strong bonds within the family. Set communication milestones and try to be a good listener.Get down to their level and have fun conversations with children.
3. Making Chores Fun
Help build good habits with an element of play. E.g., a puppet germ coming to attack their teeth and slinking away when they brush. You can help de-clutter and organize through fun ways like racing to sort out the crayons or to clear out all the cars. Children don’t respond well to instructions and it can be tiring for you as well. Instead, try building fun routines to help with a boring task. Children are comfortable with repetition, so a one-time creative effort on your part can lead to months of easy-to-follow routines.
4. Role Play
Dressing up, make-believe, and imaginary play also encourage creativity and builds more complex negotiation, communication, and language skills. Read stories to your young ones and use the premise of the story as the plot for the role play. Batman Effect is a proven technique to help your parenting journey. A child is more likely to carry out a task pretending to be a superhero.
Pick their favorite character and give them more character, say, Peppa Pig helps her dad, and then, your child would be more likely to help her dad and carry out simple tasks.
5. Make Outdoor play a must
Make sure that they go out to play and run around freely. The thrill of a playground slide, lets a child build confidence as they take risks in a relatively safe environment. Make social interactions a uncompromising and comforting practice for them. Trust us when we say the mess on your kid’s dress won’t matter when you see the excitement in their eyes when they are playing in the mud. Let them explore the different textures and have fun to their heart's content.
How does it help in parenting? Well, for starters, it burns that extra energy and boosts immunity. It also builds social skills and independence, taking a bit off your plate.
6. Let them persevere
There are times when a task is too boring or difficult, kids either tend to give up too easily or start experiencing anxiety. To curb these feelings and behaviors, you can help your child develop perseverance. You can start with small games and tasks, focusing on their strengths, praising them sincerely, and showing them their growth. This allows them to gain confidence and encourages them to not give up. Gradually, you will see them gaining longer attention spans and patience. This makes life as a parent much more manageable.
7. Take it slow and steady
If you think your kid is a fussy eater, and you tell them how their favorite television character loves spinach or broccoli, it may not work the first time. Try it a couple of times before changing your approach and soon you will see the magic happen at the dinner table. It can feel frustrating, but if you treat the process as a game, looking for a way to level up, it could help a lot.
Children do not like to hear what they cannot do, so tell them what they can do instead. Keep it fun and upbeat. Everyone wants to be praised for a job well done. Celebrating successes helps children develop a positive self-image.
The key to a happy and healthy child is to balance work and play. We understand that parents won't be able to play all the time, but a conscious attempt can ease the pressure. It also helps our children grow into curious, creative, healthy, and happy adults equipped with the skills they need in the future.
Hope these tips were helpful, we would love to hear from you the creative ways you used play to help you through a parenting challenge. Do write to us at email@example.com and we will share them with our community of parents.