or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Are you your child's playmate why-why not
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are you your child's playmate why-why not

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Ive noticed at the playground people very engrossed in their child's play and people on here discussing all the things they play with their children.

I have never considered myself my child's playmate. I just dont see why it's necessary for me to play with him. Sure if he needs assistance on a puzzle or a computer game or whatever Ill give him a few pointers and then go about my business. If he wants time with me I have him help me load the dishwasher or try to explain to him about doing our bills. He seems to enjoy this just as much as me playing trains with him or whatever.

Ive noticed a lot of judgment from both sides on the issue. It seems moms who play with their kids feel moms who don't are nelectful or don't enjoy their kids and moms who don't play think moms who do are too involved.

So what are your opinions on the subject...
post #2 of 78
I am my 5 year olds playmate. She loves it when I spend time with her and always has. Now that she's older the play consists of doing crafts or playing games. If she sees me working she wants to help. I believe her love language is quality time and if we don't make an effort to get down on her level and interact (through play, housework, cuddle time) her behavior lets us know she is not feeling loved.
post #3 of 78

I think it may depend on the child?

I put that as a question because it's just a feeling I have.

My kids often wanted me to play with them when they were little and even now my 6yo likes me to be involved with him.

However when they have playmates available, they forget about me

Also my kids never really clicked with many of the kids at playgroup so they still wanted me to play with them. When they were playing with different kids they were happy to play without me.

ETA: to the OP-it sounds like you have lots of fun with your dc doing what you do

Like I said above, it may depend on the personality of the child. Some of mine aren't as much into independent play.
I think it was mostly a matter of not having playmates around. I wonder if that's the case with some other parents.
post #4 of 78
Yes, I play w/ him and also encourage him to know how to entertain himself at times. But I do love to play w/ him!!
post #5 of 78
I try to play with them. I am often not sucessful at it. I wasn't much of a pretend play person as a child either. And I don't know how to describe what they do with me, particularly if there is more than one.....they make it impossible to play. I can sometimes join them in a side-by-side thing.

Usually I'm busy and need to get something done anyways. With three often if there is a time when they are engrossed in something, that is the time I have to do something that needs to be done. Needs - not something I necessarily want to do.
post #6 of 78
I'm somewhere in the middle. I play with DS sometimes, but I don't "get" a lot of his play. I had a weird childhood, so I don't have any experiences to fall back on in that regard. I prefer to do activities with him, whether they're going to a new museum, park, etc. or doing crafts projects. I also really involve him with my work, which he enjoys, so then he mostly wants to play with his toys on his own.
post #7 of 78
DH and I are our 2 year old's playmates. We don't play more than requested, but do comply if she asks us to play with her. So we're child-directed in that way.

I would like for her to be able to play on her own for her sake. While I'm sure my mother was my playmate when I was very small, she must have stopped, because I don't recall her being my playmate from age 4 on (she was a very involved mother, but not my playmate).

I've kind of been figuring once DD learns to read at least a little, she will be able to spend more time on her own. That's my assumption anyway. So maybe in the near future that will happen. I certainly read a lot as a child (as most only children do) and I don't recall feeling lonely or bored really ever. Sometimes I did beg my father to play board games or chess with me!

I do worry a bit that my DD needs more friends (she sees a friend about once a month on average, and less now that it's winter) but it's been difficult for a number of reasons.
post #8 of 78
Not really, no. Is that awful of me? i don't think so. I'm not there to be a playmate. I read lots of stories, involve them in the housework I'm doing, let them dress me up when they insist, get them started with toys/games/imaginary play, do puzzels, build block towers for knocking over, build marble runs, sing and dance with them, hide & seek, dress dolls, etc. But I don't play with them. Honestly I don't have the time in the day, and it's not enjoyable to be bossed around.

I love my kids. I think I am a kid person. But I go more the "kids living in a grown-up world" route. It makes more sense to me.
post #9 of 78
No. I don't enjoy play, not at all. I don't think that it's my job or responsibility to play with my kids, although I do think it's my responsibility to facilitate their play and to make sure that they have playmates. I'll gladly spend a lot of time with them, cuddle them, read to them, help them with school - but play is their work, and *work* is my work. There's nothing wrong with children and adults having different and separate enjoyable activities; I'm no more alarmed by my lack of interest in play than I am by my kids' lack of interest in furniture shopping.
post #10 of 78
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I enjoy pretending to be an animal, wrestling, even driving trucks around. It's fun. But I also want DS to see he has something to look forward to when he grows up--and so am clear about pursuing my grown up issues and interests. Heck I even try to read a magazine in the bathroom when he's taking a bath. But of course this is in between squirting him with his bath toys, etc. That's just me. DH and I also go on dates regularly and I work outside the home so in some people's eyes I'm probably the devil incarnate. I have enough to do without worrying about what people who don't know me think of me.
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvirnon View Post
but play is their work, and *work* is my work. There's nothing wrong with children and adults having different and separate enjoyable activities; I'm no more alarmed by my lack of interest in play than I am by my kids' lack of interest in furniture shopping.
yes'um
post #12 of 78
I have struggled with this too. I felt that I wasn't involved enough in 'play' with my son. I've learned to relax more and allow my son to lead. If he requests that I participate with him, then I will... but on the whole, he has a fantastic imagination and can lose himself for hours with his train sets and cars and doesn't require me to be involved.

Because I once worried that I was being neglectful and not participating in his play with him, I then overstepped and began to feel that I was intruding upon his playtime and personal space.


Peace
post #13 of 78
I'm not concerned about play per se, but I am concerned about connection, especially during the preschool years we're kind of entering now.

For me relationships are built a lot on either doing things together, or sharing things that we've done. So I look for ways to include my son in what I do - chores and experiences I like, and I also try to stay really open to whether he's inviting me into his. Often he does come and invite me to play and it's at that moment - when he asks me - that I try to be present whether the answer is yes or no right then.

Some kids don't need that, and some kids need a lot more than my son. As long as he seems to feel connected, we're good. For me that was the big insight in Playful Parenting - not that we have to play for X minutes a day, but that play is one of the powerful tools that we have to connect to each other, outside of all the "daily grind" stuff. So I've tried to be mindful of that.

I find the division between adult stuff and kids stuff to be a little artificial. I mean yes there is definitely child play that is different and adult things kids don't do, but I'm pretty sure there is not a huge difference between kneading bread dough and playing play dough, ykwim? And getting out and playing soccer is good for me too.
post #14 of 78
I am ONE of the many people big and small, who play with my children. Play is bonding time and gives me a chance to enter their world. I consider it a privilege to be invited in. I know one day they won't have as much fun rolling down a hill with me or collaborating on a painting.

I even play tag sometimes when I am feeling tired and build legos when i'm not feeling particularly inspired or read Snow for the 100th time in a row... Just as my children come grocery shopping sometimes when they would rather not. Toddlers have precious few opportunities for control and directing a puppet show or a building block project seems like an opportunity they deserve and an easy experience for me to facilitate.

My almost 7yo likes to read to me and write books together and sometimes we just act silly and run around the house wearing capes. I wouldn't miss it for the world
post #15 of 78
Nope not at all, and I don't feel guilty at all. If DD1 needs helping setting up an activity then yes I'll help, or with a puzzle but I don't get down on the floor and play with them. We do quite a bit of stuff together, DD1 has always liked to help me around the house, she thinks that is fun. We also do have many "playdates" with friends, I don't feel that they are missing out on play time.
post #16 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
I am ONE of the many people big and small, who play with my children. Play is bonding time and gives me a chance to enter their world. I consider it a privilege to be invited in. I know one day they won't have as much fun rolling down a hill with me or collaborating on a painting.

I even play tag sometimes when I am feeling tired and build legos when i'm not feeling particularly inspired or read Snow for the 100th time in a row... Just as my children come grocery shopping sometimes when they would rather not. Toddlers have precious few opportunities for control and directing a puppet show or a building block project seems like an opportunity they deserve and an easy experience for me to facilitate.

My almost 7yo likes to read to me and write books together and sometimes we just act silly and run around the house wearing capes. I wouldn't miss it for the world
:

DS has a playmate twice a week, so when he's by himself sometimes heneeds me to get him started. Then I sneak off, and do what I want for a while.
I look forward to giving him a more permanent playmate.
post #17 of 78
I played a lot with my first when he was little. It was probably necessary, because he didn't have playmates around a lot of the time, but I think he became sort of addicted to it. Honestly, I wish he had had more older children around when he was little and less playtime with us. I feel this is more natural. I think my oldest developed a bossy streak, because he was so used to being in charge of our play. Now we only play with our children occasionally, but do spend lots of time together talking, doing housework, reading stories, doing projects, going to the park, etc.
post #18 of 78
I'm not a playmate. I occasionally play with my daughter but it isn't a regular thing. She has lots of friends so she doesn't need a 40-year-old playmate particularly, and when I do play with her I am afraid I direct play a bit, and I don't think that's a good thing. I specifically try not to direct play but kids look to adults quite a bit and I think she plays differently, and maybe less creatively, when she plays with me.

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. It depends on the personality of the child and the parent. My husband plays with our daughter more than I do, for instance.
post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
I'm not there to be a playmate. I read lots of stories, involve them in the housework I'm doing, let them dress me up when they insist, get them started with toys/games/imaginary play, do puzzels, build block towers for knocking over, build marble runs, sing and dance with them, hide & seek, dress dolls, etc. But I don't play with them. Honestly I don't have the time in the day, and it's not enjoyable to be bossed around.
I'm confused -- aren't almost all of those things considered "playing"? I do all the stuff you described in your paragraph above, but I would answer the OP's question by saying that I *do* play with my DS. Maybe people have different definitions of playing -- mine certainly doesn't consist of being "bossed around" by DS.
post #20 of 78
I dont play with my kids. I read to them, I set them up with projects, I help them. I dont consider that playing, really. Or I guess I should say I occasionally play with them. I do play the occasional game of hide and seek or tea party or whatever but rarely. I dont think its necessary or normal to be entertained/played with all the time.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Are you your child's playmate why-why not