Do you actively play with your children or leave them to their own devices...?

(14 Posts)
MostlyLovingLurchers Sun 10-Feb-13 18:12:57

I do engage with imaginative play with dc as he is an only child, and i feel he needs the interaction maybe more than if he had a sibling (of course he has interaction with others outside of the home). It wasn't something that came naturally but, having now embraced it, i have found it has some unexpected benefits.

I think tapping into the 'inner child' has opened up some creative pathways that were well and truly blocked before, and they manifest in more ways than just enabling me to play trains or pirates with any sense of conviction. I have been far more productive in the literal creative sense (writing, crafts, art) but also in problem solving on a day to day basis.

I don't think imaginative play with your child is vital as long as a child is getting plenty of other parental attention and has other outlets for creative play, but i do wonder why it is something that is so difficult for so many?

hiddenhome Sun 10-Feb-13 16:23:10

I class myself as a pretty good parent, but I loathe playing imaginative play. I'll happily take them out and set stuff up for them, but the actual sitting on the carpet fiddling with cars just bores me to tears and I always have loads of housework to do which makes me distracted as I sit making mental lists of all the jobs I need to complete.

The only board game I will play is Frustration, everything else makes me bored and agitated and I feel physically uncomfortable.

I feel very guilty about not directly playing with them, but I do most everything else right, so I try not to torment myself over it smile

Branleuse Sun 10-Feb-13 13:03:01

i dont really play with them as such. They play with each other, other children, or on their own. I do baking with them (if i cant get out of it ;) ) and read to them/with them, talk to them, but im shit at actually playing stuff with them

crescentmoon England Sun 10-Feb-13 12:33:41

"I gues this position is formed as a result of the things we do or don't like doing"

yes, on my part, cleaning!

DeepRoots Sun 10-Feb-13 12:30:43

That article was interesting. I live really far away from any family help so agree that free childcare makes a difference. But not all grandparents/family are willing and able to help with this even if they are near by. Although it is true that having a third would be beyond my sanity and financial resources.

Crescentmoon I am the same but opposite. PLaying imaginative 'is your baby hungry etc type games remind me of the drudgery of the working day and the sufference of doing something someone else wants me to do that I don't really enjoy (i know I get paid for it but some aspects of my job really try my patience!)

I gues this position is formed as a result of the things we do or don't like doing

Cakethrow Sun 10-Feb-13 12:15:11

Leave them to it mostly. (Eldest DC are 2 and nearly 4)

I'll read to them, do puzzles, bake and set up activities like painting for them but don't 'play games' with them.
I'm completely rubbish at things like that.
Doesn't seem to have harmed DCs' imaginations in any way though.

crescentmoon England Sun 10-Feb-13 12:10:42

i read something this week that women who live near their extended families tend to have more children, did anyone else read it?

www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2273242/Women-live-near-mothers-likely-pregnant.html#axzz2KUsioLKf

and i thought to myself i would properly have a bigger tolerance to games with small pieces if my mum lived close by. otherwise, its a body and soul issue. if i step on a small bead or piece of lego, then suddenly the drudgery of a SAHM life hits me!

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 10-Feb-13 11:59:47

See I love the jewellery sets and beads and stuff, dc are very good at tidying up after themselves to. I love Lego and Knex stuff because I'm doing something and not just asking if their baby's hungry.

I like going for walks to and will spend all day in the park with them although I'm more of a sit down and read my book while they play mum grin

DeepRoots Sun 10-Feb-13 11:40:03

Crescent you seem to be the polar opposite of me. I love lego. Have n't solved the problem of what to do with it all when it is built (DS love the stuff, DD not so keen)
As a child I loved dolls, ponies, imaginative play now I love craft and books and being outside. Sometimes I just need a wood to walk in. Though actually that hasn't changed only as a child it was water, the sea, a beach.

I wonder if/how this shapes our children as they grow?

crescentmoon England Sun 10-Feb-13 11:28:38

i dislike activities with my dc that create mess: baking arts and crafts. one year they got loads of gifts of jigsaws, lego sets, jewellery making for dd. and i said to DH 'these people don't like me!'. unless its homework, i leave all that for them to do at school. but i do like imaginative play, and throwing them up or twirling them around or giving them piggybacks or tickles. no small toys/pieces littering the place grin. and im quite affectionate with dc

DeepRoots Sun 10-Feb-13 11:22:40

Like the name 'in need of brandy'. I find imaginative play difficult, i think I get bored too quickly would much rather read them a book or bake.

Jo and Max I like the idea that leaving them to occupy themselves is developing a life skill.

JoandMax Sun 10-Feb-13 10:35:07

I leave them to it as long as they're happy really. Somedays they'll happily play together or alone all day, others they want me to join in a lot more.

We always eat meals together and we do things like craft and baking and going swimming but in the house if they're happy I'm happy! I think they should be able to occupy themselves and develop their imaginations.

They're 4.7 and 2.10 btw

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 10-Feb-13 10:31:22

I hardly ever play with my dc, I don't do imaginative play ever. I do however do a bedtime story most nights play football in the park and dance around with them and bake.

I'm not child friendly where I can play games if that makes sense and I think being shown affection like being tucked up at night is more important then playing with them.

DeepRoots Sun 10-Feb-13 10:22:14

Or a bit of both.

Posting on here because for me this is a body and soul issue about my own sanity.

I listen to my children, always read stories at bedtime or through the day if thye ask, sometimes do puzzles with them or crafts or watch a film with them. None of this is particularly organised.

Often I do ask them to get on by themselves because I have alot of work to do outside working hours as does my husband or I enjoy reading my own books, doing my own thing (crafts, spiritual stuff etc). I like my own company I would say.

They seem happy with this and I wondered how it worked for other people. I'm not asking anyone to agree or confirm this is ok. I am just wondering if I am strange to have children and like my own interests.

Any thoughts???

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