When days are over-scheduled, make sure to save at least 15 minutes a day to just play with your child. Teach your child that down time is just as important as organized activities and daily responsibilities. It also teaches work-life balance early on, so he can better handle the stresses of school and eventually a career.
TV and video games may seem like the only thing your child is interested in, but what they truly crave is your attention and genuine connection. Video games can’t compete with the feeling a child gets when he get to share a special object, or even just a special moment, with his parent.
Tell your child to pick out 1 special toy and bring it to you so you can play together. When you’re down on the floor, on his level, look in his eyes and express genuine interest in what you’re doing together. Let him lead playtime with his imagination and excite your child with your facial expressions, sounds and your own imaginative ideas.
Quick tips for one-on-one play time with your child:
- Play at eye-level and use loving touch
- Unplug the electronics and give undivided attention
- Commit to 15-20 minutes per day
- Follow the child’s lead and join in his/her themes
- Stimulate his/her creativity by asking questions
- Use simple objects that can easily change meaning (i.e. a cardboard box is a car, and then it’s a hat, etc.
- Children today don’t use their imagination enough, something they need in order to develop creativity. Designating a daily play time has a multitude of positive effects for your family.
8 Benefits of daily play time:
- Sense of security
- Stronger bonds
- Higher self-esteem
- Frequent stress relief
- Less risk-taking behaviors
- Less attention-seeking behaviors
- Better mood throughout the day
- More cooperation with rules/directions
Try it out and have a great time. Please share with us what your favorite things are to do with your child during one-on-one time!
*North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Inc. (NSPT) intends for responses to the blogs to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; all content and answers to questions should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s). Questions submitted to this blog are not guaranteed to receive responses. No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by NSPT to people submitting questions. Always consult with your health professional first before initiating or changing any aspect of your treatment regimen.