I've been working on this for a while now and wonder if others are, too.
I have only one child, an 8-year-old daughter. I work full-time, but from home. I have time to play. DD and I DO lots of stuff together; we make crafts, go out, go on playdates, read, swim, etc...
But what DD really wants me to do is play. Littlest Pet Shop, specifically.
It doesn't matter how much time she gets to play LPS with other kids. This is STILL what she most desires to do with me. Give her the choice between a day at the museum with lunch out and, oh, a pony ride...it would be LPS.
And I feel like I've been holding out, resisting.
But I feel a huge pull towards her, like "stop typing on the computer and GO to her. She WANTS you. GO."
I want to have fun with her and I want some of it to be on her terms.
So from today onward, LPS it is. I am setting myself a minimum goal of 30 minutes per day, every day. And within this time, no phone calls, no interruptions. Our time.
FWIW, it's not like we don't play. Sometimes we play for a couple of hours. And it won't always be LPS. But right now, I'm not consistent and I want to get into the habit. I think I hate LPS and then when I sit with her and start playing, I realize it's not about that. It's about being with her and the amazing fact that I am still her preferred playmate. How much longer will I get that? And sometimes, just sometimes, I really start playing and it's FUN.
So for me, no excuses. No "I'm tired" (I start work at 4 a.m.), I have to start dinner, whatever. God knows I waste time in other ways. I need to make this a priority.
Oh my! I don't know if I could do such a thing! I almost never play with my kids that way. I don't think they are craving it like you say your DD does -- my dh is a great player and I do make sure that they get out a lot and have a lot of fun things to do and other people to play with. Every once in a great while, I'll get down on the floor with my little one and play with train tracks or blocks or something and I know he enjoys it, and I always feel good about it... but. Ugh! I'm just not a player! I will think about it, though. Maybe ten minutes a day. Good luck! I'm sure you won't regret it.
Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.
Have you read Playful Parenting? It's essentially what's advocated there: Spend 30 minutes as often as you can letting your child take the lead in play.
I've done this with my kids and it works. Dd and I spent a long time playing "animals" last year where she took the lead. It had huge benefits in her flexibility in other things, her willingness to do chores, etc. When ds was little we played fire station and bus driver constantly. We spent the whole year he was in first grade playing school. It helps establish a connection that lasts and spills over into lots of other aspects of life.
I've gotten out of that pattern this winter, and I need to schedule some time with my kids again. Ds now is all about sports. I can play basketball with him, or even play on the Wii. Dd is all about Warrior Cats and I know she'd love it if I'd play some with her. Thanks for the reminder!