Now that I'm an adult, I love watching kids play, mainly free play. Because as a child (and even today), I had no idea how to free play. I mean I knew things like board games, and if some kids gathered and wanted to play hide & seek or the likes, then I could do that... But just to run around and have fun? No, that wasn't so much part of my childhood (perhaps because I was not sociable and stayed a lot at home or in the class room during the break by myself). So watching kids run around in the playground, just having fun with no specific purpose, that fascinates me!
And or But I want to be playful with my daughter. So I bought a book - Playful Parenting and..... well at least I bought it! Anyway the other day I decided it was time I started reading the book, and so I have (and to be quite honest, I'm still at the beginning, but I felt I just had to share..)
The author talks about how it is important to play with your child, not just to let them play, but to actually play with them. It fosters closeness, confidence, connection. In addition, he talks about the importance of play for children, as this is how they learn and explore and make sense of their world. Also he mentions how play, even the simple casual play, has layers of meanings to it! Etc, I won't copy here all what I marked lol. He also talked about how adults should get down to the floor when playing with their kids. Sigh of relief. This is one thing I do do! I'm not good at playing blah blah I I really am terrible at this playing thing), but yes, I have no problem sitting on the floor, on the carpet, on the earth etc and playing with her!
He then went on to a point where I have just read the bullets before he elaborates on them, because it got me thinking.. Well one specific bullet. The usual scene when I go with my daughter to the play ground is - first I have to swing her for a very long time on the swings! [unschooling as I am, I will not teach her to swing alone until she is ready for it. And I do not push once or twice and leave her like I see some mums do. No, when I swing her I swing her]. Then I go to the bench for a few minutes, hoping to get some rest.. until she calls me to play with her. [writing this, I think it is a bit better at the homeschooling group where we also eat and also she does know a bit of the kids, not so much when we go in the afternoons to the local playgrounds]. And I want to sit and rest, I want to watch children, and mainly my daughter, playing, but mainly I fear that if I play with her, then she won't be playing or even socializing with other kids.
Well the bullet that got me, about a child's need for playing with the adult they are closest to, was the one mentioned how children need more play time with the grown ups "when they are having a difficult time connecting with peers or adults". As I said, I haven't yet read his elaboration, but yes I can see it now.. she was needing me while I was pushing her away.. Anyway I am learning and hopefully one day not too long, I will be a better playing parent!