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Is playing hard work?!

(10 Posts)
Notsoyummymummy1 Sat 09-Nov-13 21:34:20

Just watched an interesting discussion on a daytime tv programme about whether parents have lost the art of playing because of video games and lack of time with their children. Just wondered what other people thought - I do find it comes naturally to mess around with dd and be silly but if we sit down and play Lego I sometimes struggle to think of ideas of what do. My mum is brilliant, she always comes up with new ways of playing but my mil is very different - she's ok if she has somewhere to take dd eg the children's centre or the park but she can't sit and play with toys of whatever - she just leaves dd to it. Am just wondering if some people have a natural ability to play and others don't of they just don't have enough time with their children. Am not a journalist honest just thought it might be an interesting discussion!

noblegiraffe Sat 09-Nov-13 21:40:31

I don't think parents used to play with their children.

SteamWisher Sat 09-Nov-13 21:43:46

Playing is hard work. But I find if I let the dc join in with something I'm doing with the aim of teaching them it's easier.

curiouselle Sat 09-Nov-13 21:47:09

I find it comfortable to sit on the floor and play make believe. In fact recently dd (age2) and I made a map to find a heffalump and videod our expedition to find it (in the porch if you are interested). But I have friends who would think I was mental wink
I do think everyone is different even as children, I remember my brother was never very good at make believe and used to ask me to come up with ideas.

CailinDana Mon 11-Nov-13 15:58:53

Adults playing with children is a very new thing. Right up to the 80s it was expected that children would go off and play on their own. Parents only became expected to play when it was suggested that not playing with children could slow down their social/emotional/intellectual development. So it became an obligation rather than a choice.
Some people naturally enjoy playing (my dh being one of them) but it's pretty rare. IME the best way to play is to allow the child to take control.

notadoctor Mon 11-Nov-13 17:27:28

I agree with curiouselle - different kinds of play come more or less easily to different people.

My DH and I both work in theatre (basically playing for a living!) so our DD gets a lot of imaginative, make believe play. Luckily she loves it but our next LO (due in April) might like to play in a different way which may come less naturally to us.

I also agree that it's important to give kids time and space to just play on their own too - and to let them take the lead when you are all playing together.

usualsuspect Mon 11-Nov-13 17:33:20

I think children should learn to play independently and with other children.
They don't need adults to hover and lead the play.

badguider Mon 11-Nov-13 17:38:18

Parents never used to play with their children!
Children played with other children when I was young, except maybe family board games.

cory Tue 12-Nov-13 09:53:04

Do you think all Victorian parents were brilliant at imaginary games just because there weren't any video games around?

Parents have always been different. People are different. A major part of successful parenting imo is to find something you are good at that you can enjoy doing with dc. I hate crafts particularly involving glue and cutting (mildly dyspraxic) but am very good at telling stories. My brother intensely dislikes board games.

I believe some adults have always played with their children because they were naturally good at it and enjoyed it. Just like people who are musical will gravitate towards music even in generations where playing an instrument is not expected of everyone and "bookish" children tried to get hold of books even when most children were not encouraged to read much.

My granddad who was born in the 1880s was a natural. So obviously he revelled in it, even though in his generation there was no generalised expectation on fathers to do this. Everybody enjoys something they're good at.

The difference with our generation is the expectation that all parents will do the same thing.

hellokittymania Tue 12-Nov-13 10:14:12

I often play with the neighbour's kids. I was a very late bloomer due to SN. Most of the kids think of me as an older sister. I think it depends on the person though.

I wonder what Asian parents were like before. Family is so important and babies are carried around, fed etc until 2 or 3 years old. Toys are very basic in some areas and not used much. Parents, neighbours, aunts are very hands on though with kids (again depending on the country)

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