Sigh… play time… again…
Which pediatrician certified “play” scheme this time? Where are the Montessori blocks, the “feelings” dolls and the build-your-own tepee kit? This is going to be a long day. As Moms you do a lot. And you want your kids to have the brightest futures possible, so you plan, monitor and supervise strict educational play time for your kiddos, every day… But where’s the fun in all that “play”? And where, oh where, will you get the energy (or ideas) for round two?
Relax, take some pressure off and let your child do the “work!” When you follow your child’s lead in play rather than devising a complicated adult-type activity, you not only grow her brain but you get relief from being the “Mommy TV.” Special programming on 24/7, right? Share in one parent’s glow after she released herself from the entertainment trap:
“I love playing without “pressure”! Play does not feel draining to me now, and I think my daughter, Laura, is happier to have the time to explore and figure things out. Slowing down and not “leading the play” has been key. I used to think she was just not the “exploring kind,” and I look at her now and feel so fortunate that I got the education to change my play so that she now has room and time to explore. It has really made a difference.
It only took a few days of “Samantha play” before I felt like there was a change in how Laura played on her own and felt around other people. In only a few days (but more so in one week), she started to explore differently than ever before, coming up with solutions to challenges or new ways to play without asking for my help or presence. She started to be better about playing alongside me while my attention was focused on making dinner, for example. I was surprised. I did not expect “results” so quickly.
That same week on Friday we went to the zoo. There I saw something that felt big: she was running, on her own, down on the ground while I was pushing the stroller, without holding my hand or pulling my legs asking to get a hug when people would approach us. She just ran alone, taking in the world for quite a long way, even when the scenery of random people changed in to a pretty heavy crowd. Being surrounded by this crowd got her attention but it did not change her disposition or make her feel insecure like I expected. On a couple of occasions, some people bumped into her and even then she did not “panic” but calmly looked for me, got closer to me, assessed the situation and when she felt it was safe to go back out, she continued on her way, happily!!! I gave her some verbal encouragement but that was all. I was in awe.”
So try it. Let your child do her own “work” during simple play and see first-hand how she develops confidence rather than clinginess. And you can start storing up all the energy that was previously going down the “entertain drain.”