I’ve raised three children past the age of four now and have been seeking the answer as to why playing with my kids is so hard?
My ways of connecting with my children have always been baking, painting, going on walks, swimming, skating, shopping, picnics and reading. These are all fun but don’t meet their needs to play and get down on the floor and have fun.
For a few weeks I have been praying on this, asking God to help me find my block with playing with my son.
This year, we joined a play-based parent participation playschool and it has allowed me the opportunity to gain wisdom from observing my son’s teacher with over 30 years of experience. She has this way with the children that looks like magic and can help 15 of them at a time to play, share and cooperate together.
Today I was playing a board game for the first time and my son was doing it his own way, without a bit of interest in any rules. As I felt frustration coming on, I had a flashback of my younger self. I recalled feeling very angry and hurt and lashing out by throwing the game over. Then I recalled how my parents handled it and it was in such a different way than I see the teachers at the school handling it.
The block I had been praying for was revealed. Memories began flashing through my head of my younger child self, being laughed at, yelled at or told that I am bad. There were feelings of shame and much of my younger school years my inability to play with other children caused many more hurt feelings and feelings of shame.
I had never learned how to cooperate with others or solve problems on my own. As an adult, I didn’t have the skills to teach my children how to do this and it showed in play. When you play with your children, they can become frustrated, don’t want to take turns or share and get angry and cry. All of these things are normal and a great way to learn but very stressful and overwhelming when you don’t know how to handle it.
Thankfully there are many great books, videos and teachers out there. Being a part of the school and volunteering to be in the classroom has really helped me to quickly figure it out. One other important part of play has been coming with a clear mind. In the past I have been so busy, overwhelmed and stressed out that I had a million thoughts going through my mind. Here is a few of my favorites!
- Why Play FRP Canada
- Book- Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce The Sandcastles Way
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
- Calming the Emotional Storm
All the time I had spent with my children with a full mind has left me feeling much guilt. I am so grateful for God’s grace and the fact that every day is a second chance!
In the last year and a half I have grown so much. By getting enough sleep, praying, walking every day, reading and writing I am taking care of myself and it has changed my world. If I start my day with a grateful heart and a full cup, I have much more patience and love to give my children.
If you like this article you may find this one helpful; why Moms need support when they are in the hospital. http://www.everydayisasecondchance.com/why-you-need-support-when-you-are-in-the-hospital/