This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com.
With winters cold arrival and daylights quick retreat, our children are starting to shift the focus of their fun from playgrounds, fields and basketball hoops, to basements, hallways and family rooms.
Our children have endless stockpiles of energy, both mental and physical, that we cannot pause simply because it’s cold outside.
What is a parent to do to maintain sanity? Join in the fun! It is during play that our children learn.
Here are three examples to boost your parenting potential and creatively occupy your child’s time.
1. Competitive Indoor Play
Every Christmas, to work off the 15,000 calories that we consume during the day, my extended family meet for a “Christmas Battle Royale”.
Everyone is packing Nerf foam heat and no one is safe. There is something about running around your home, ducking and dodging little rubber and plastic darts, using the occasional couch cushion as a shield and watching your sweet children form and destroy a variety of alliances within seconds that allows you to forget about the bills.
It’s not every day your children get to see you running and screaming like a crazy person from the hallway to behind the couch. We want our children to know that ridiculous fun has a place in adulthood too. For those parents who choose to avoid guns, socks make for a safe indoor dodge ball game.
The Goal: Get moving, create some memories with your children, and set the foundational ideal that it is necessary to live a balanced life of work and play.
2. Use your imagination
Playing house or setting up a make shift town where the kids are in charge of the parents can easily take up hours of fun.
Watching your son or daughter play the role of the town mayor or local school teacher is an easy-way to see a child’s perspective regarding this thing with call “adulthood”.
With all of the influences that our children are exposed to on a daily basis, imaginative play is where you will see if your child views adults as overly controlling and bossy or kind and supportive.
The Goal: Play along, let your child express their thoughts. You can form future questions that can enhance a child’s critical-thinking or take another look at the influences your child is exposed to so you can adjust as needed.
3. Get Crafty
Build a cardboard house for a stuffed animal, attempt to make a movie on a tablet or cook up some strange recipe in the kitchen and stand back and let your tiny artisan go to town.
In a world that shows us “only the best will do”, we can make it difficult for our children to deal with imperfections. Let us avoid diminishing the value in a creative process which has often lead great minds to success.
Maybe that cardboard house is crooked, the movie is blurry and the cookies are really, really crunchy. We have to let our kids know that it’s OK, nothing comes out perfect. If we keep trying, it will eventually get better.
The Goal: Let your child create, find the good in their creations, ask about what they might do differently and encourage them to keep at it-persistence is key.