" The simple act of getting down on their level, engaging in play
and giving them undivided attention is exactly what they want and need. "
The other morning I woke up to a foggy, fall-like morning in the forest. The air was damp and cool. Even so, there were still signs of it being the middle of June…the birds were chirping a melodious chorus and the dirt pile in our yard showed signs where dirt roads and racetracks had been built by my two young sons the day before.
As I sipped my morning coffee, I pondered the importance of play in our lives.
The words ‘children’ and ‘play’ are synonymous. Children make play look so easy, because it is for them. Play is in their nature. It is generally the first thing my children want to do when they wake up in the morning, even before eating some breakfast.
Our family theme this month is Joy, Play, & Peace. With summer in full swing, what better time to embrace the art of playing.
Children’s minds are wired to play. My Type-A, adult mind on the other hand, finds it difficult to stop my ‘adult’ work and join my children in play. I am a very purposeful person, so if there doesn’t seem to be a “purpose” in doing something, I see it as a waste of our precious time. However, when I stop and really think about play and childhood I reminded of its importance to them.
Play is very purposeful for children and deserves more value than I often give it. Play is very important for them and it is actually a large part of how they learn. Even though it is not something that comes natural to me, I am training myself to join them in their play on a daily basis.
There are many opportunities for teaching lessons when we are playing with our children and I encourage those. But having a training and teaching mind set often causes me to be more focused on the “lesson” that will be learned from our play together; instead of just enjoying time with my children and allowing the Holy Spirit to “teach” a lesson if it arises. I believe a balance of both is in order.
The quality time spent playing with our children is priceless and it creates a strong bond between us and our child. We don’t always need to have an agenda in our play with our children and it doesn’t have to be some extravagant thing we are doing with them. The simple act of getting down on their level, engaging in play and giving them undivided attention is exactly what they want and need. But there have many days where I would get to the end of the day and realize I had no “real” intentional play time with my children.
Can you relate? Do you often get to the end of your day and realize you had no real “intentional” play time with your children? I know we are all very busy with to-do lists and responsibilities, but the responsibility of parenting well should be a top priority and that means being intentional; it means maybe sacrificing some personal interests for the time being, putting our devices down, and engaging wholeheartedly with our children.
If our daily schedules are too full to have time to play with our children, then I believe a reworking of our schedules is in order. Our playtime need not be extremely lengthy; just intentional and as undivided as possible. I have seen that sacrificing some of my own interests and personal goals in order to make time to intentionally play with my children is worth it. And an added bonus after intentional play is that their behavior tends to be more positive and compliant for long after. Our children's obedience and cooperation I think is something all us moms desire.
There are so many “ways” to play with our children. If you haven’t played with your children in awhile, I encourage you today to stop your housework, work, to-do list—whatever it is you are occupied with—for a bit, and join your children in some play time. It might be playing with their cars and trucks or dolls, Legos, a board or card game, sidewalk chalk, etc. Come to them with a fun idea or better yet, let your children choose what to play…but come with no agenda and be fully engaged with them.
Have fun today, look for joy, and be blessed by His truth & grace!
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.