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Enjoy Your Children!

Posted by on in Parenting
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Kirby reminisces fondly about her mom being the only parent who got out and played with the neighborhood kids. Kirby followed in her footsteps. The kids noticed. "You like being with us!" 

Outdoor play can be for parents and children. It's really important to play outside with kids, not just to send them out and invite neighborhood kids over. Their development will leap ahead -- socially, cognitively, physically, relationally (especially toward the parent playing with them).

But you may not have had an experience like Kirby's. And if you have not seen it modeled, you may not be able to picture it.

Children love adult attention. They feel important. Their self-esteem and self-worth rises. The advantages of this are:

  • The adult is present to speak into how to work out differences between the kids. (There is an aspect of social development here, thinking of ways to compromise.)
  • Much less bullying or unkind talk happens with adults around.
  • Children learn the rules to the games. They have help to remember and follow the rules. (This helps with cognitive development.)
  • The simple fact of physical development -- running, jumping, etc.

** Another bonus is that you get to know your child and your children's friends better. **

Have you passed on some of the games from your childhood? Do you remember games like:

  • Kick the Can
  • Red Light - Green Light
  • Red Rover
  • Freeze Tag
  • S.P.U.D.
  • Hop Scotch
  • Four Square (can be made with chalk or rope on grass)

On hot days, do you remember running through the sprinkler? Getting soaked and drying out? You can do this with your children.

I understand the cry of, "Please, I need to interact with another adult!" But at least spend part of the time playing with the kids. We're just trying to recommend balance. These are a few ways to be active with your children.