Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday --- Parenting Advice

I have long enjoyed the "Works for Me Wednesdays", hosted by Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm thrilled to finally participate! And today is the "Great Parenting Advice Edition"!

My parenting tip today is one that many of you will already be familiar with, but maybe some need reminding. It is simply to allow your children plenty of free play time.

We live in a society that is always on the go. We teach our children from the time they are toddlers that WE are on a schedule and it is time to GO! Children spend all day at daycare, then preschool, then school, then college, then work. What little time they have in the afternoons is often taken up with extra curricula activities or homework.

I would encourage parents to create an environment for their children, where they can just be children! Give them days on end of unstructured free play. This is the only time in their lives that they have an opportunity for time to go slowly for them. They will be busy enough in just a few years and for the rest of their lives.

I used to worry about my children being bored. And sure enough, I've heard "I'm bored", more times that I can count. But given enough time to be bored, that boredom turns to creativity. It took some time to deprogram ourselves from always having to have something to do, but I have enjoyed watching the progress my children have made in being creative and imaginative.

So that's my "Works for Me" thought for today. Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas!


The Estrogen Files said...

I totally agree - over-scheduling is the bane of our society. Teaching the kids to take time to just be is so important!

My WFMW is about sun safety.

Jill said...

Great advice for today's parents. We weren't scheduled in anything growing up and had so many adventures.

Courtney said...

how old were your children when they started playing on their own,in a room different than you? My oldest is three but has never been one that loves toys. So she will watch a movie without me, although she wants me there, and a movie isn't "playing". We have a small house (townhome) and there aren't a lot of toys in the first place but we wonder about how to help her develop a healthy imagination.(something that i desperately lack)

Katy said...

Your daughter sounds a lot like my son. When he was little, he preferred my company to anything else. He didn't like to color or pretend; he wanted to talk and be with me. It really worried me for a while. Each child is so different, and for him, "fun" was socializing with adults. It was not until he was six or older that he finally began to enjoy playing by himself in his room.

I have worried too about my lack of creativity/imagination and it's effect on my children. So I am trying to learn right along with them! Hopefully by the time they are grown, I will be a creative & imaginative person too!

I hope this helps some! :-)