Expert Parent Advice

3 Great Reasons to Play WITH Your Kids

Most parents jump for joy when the time finally comes that their kids play independently or with their siblings.  Finally, a few minutes of breathing room to get a few things done around the house!

While independent play is important for a child’s development, it’s also important to make sure that we are playing WITH our kids on a daily basis. 

I’m Amy McCready with Positive Parenting Solutions, and I’m proud to partner with Kids ‘R’ Kids for the Expert Parenting Advice Series.  Today, we’re talking about 3 Important Reasons to Play WITH Kids.

Whether it’s playing “Pretend” with a toddler or a round of Wii golf with a teenager, playing means doing whatever YOUR child likes to do.

In addition to being fun, there are 3 great reasons to play WITH your kids:

1.  Creating Emotional Connection: Playing WITH your kids – doing whatever it is that they like to do is one of the best ways to create emotional connection.  More than anything, your kids want your time – they want to be with you and play with you.  The good news is that it doesn’t require a lot of time.  You can create those emotional connections by playing for 10 minutes once or twice per day.  You have to be fully present during that time – but you can foster the emotional bonds in as little as ten minutes per day.

2. Fewer attention-seeking misbehaviors: We know our kids have an attention basket that MUST be filled – it’s just the way we’re wired.  When parents play WITH their children, they are PROACTIVELY filling the child’s attention basket in positive ways.  If parents don’t provide sufficient POSITIVE attention on a daily basis, kids will resort to negative behaviors to get it – whining, clinging, helplessness, sibling fighting, etc.  When parents implement consistent playtime WITH their children, attention-seeking behaviors begin to fall off the radar screen! 

3. More cooperative children! As parents fill attention baskets in POSITIVE ways and emotional connections increase, children consistently become MORE COOPERATIVE at other times during the day!  When the child’s core emotional requirements for connection and attention are met, he doesn’t feel the need to “fight us” to get negative attention and is more cooperative when asked to do things throughout the day.  It’s a win for everyone.

For fun ideas for playing with your kids, check the interactive that goes along with this video.

For ongoing solutions to your parenting challenges, visit us often at Kids 'R' Kids for Expert Parenting Advice.

I’m Amy McCready for Kids ‘R’ Kids, and I’ll see you next time!