Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Playing Is More Than Just Physically Being There

After being in the car for almost 2 hours today I knew we needed some outside play time. Shoot I was planning to go to park before we even went on our short adventure today. Before we went to the park I had to take advantage of the great mood B was in and get his hair cut! He hates getting his hair cut as much as he hates going  to the doctor. Today was his lucky day he did both! I have to just throw it in there that he was successful during trips to both locations and didn't cry! It made this momma proud!

After we got a hair cut he asked to go to the park. Duh it was a no brainer we were going to the park! His favorite park is closed for construction so I took him to another one close by. As we played together on the playground I couldn't help but notice the guy who was so busy on his phone he couldn't even help his little boy tackle the monkey bars. I mean I went down the slide that I was clearly too big for and had to squeeze myself out. Surely he could play with his son too. It made me recall a blog post or something that I read a while back and therefore made me do a little evaluation of how I'm spending my time with B. Currently this is us...
He is snoozing away because being 3 is extremely exhausting for him! I love it! ( The napping part, not the part where he is going to be up until midnight!) 

Back to spending time with B. As we ran to the car him on my back because it started to pour down rain I was loving his giggles and his "giddy up horsey momma!" We got into the car and I thought to myself, I could have left my phone in the car instead of having to carry it around. That would would have made our park time that much more special. 

It's all about spending time with him and not just watching him or playing on my phone while he plays. It is important to me that he learns to play on his own sometimes but also that he gets plenty of time playing with other people including adults! 

When we go to the park I like to play games with him and interact with him. I enjoy racing him up the steps and down the slide, helping him learn how to master the monkey bars (that won't happen for a few years), pushing him on the swing or going for an imaginary ride on the train. I don't like to be that mom who says "just go play" or doesn't even seem interested in their child while at the park. Our children learn through play with other children and with us. I don't want to just be present I want to be interacting positively with him. I want to see that big smile when he accomplishes climbing to the top of the toy on his own while I stand below and cheer him on. I want to encourage him to try the new things and to tackle them with confidence. It also makes our trips to the park more fun!

While I'm playing with B at the park I also try not to be the hovering parent. I want him to learn to fall and get up. (Not at the expense of a busted face or broken bone if I can prevent it. Even though that will happen eventually.) I let him climb up the curved ladder and bite my lip while he figures out how to make the transition from ladder to platform. I let him grab the bar and start to swing as if he is going to cross the monkey bars by himself. I also discourage him from doing things that are to far above my head and I can't help him! (I'm short and if I can't reach his foot at about my face level he just has to wait to tackle that when Daddy can join us!)

Being a parent is all about finding the balance just like with everything else in life! At the end of the day I want to reflect and know that I spent more time playing with B than I did on my phone or on the computer. All the social media updating can always wait for another day or another time!

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