I am happy to say that my children are Nine and Twelve, and they still ask me to play with them. Most of the time a play with them and sometimes I tell them I do not have time right now or I am busy. It sounds stupid to they play with me and they should not rely on me. But for me, it is important to play with them and give them time.
Here, are some reasons why your child asks you to play with them and why you should play with them.
What is the meaning of you kids asking you to play with them?
When your child frequently asks you to play with him or seems bored all the time, he/she is likely to telling you one or more of the following things:
1. He/She wants your attention:
If your child want your attention, it is because She/He want to tell you something (but he/she is afraid to tell) or you don’t spend enough time with him/her, and there is something going on in his/her life that is making him/her feel need extra attention.
A child does need extra attention when he/she is going through a rough patch. Same thing also applicable to the adults, when we face rough patch we want to talk with our partners or friends. So, it is especially important for your child to get emotional support from you.
You also need to pay attention to your routine and these question to yourself:
- Do you work very long hours?
- Do you spend a lot of time on the phone or computer during the time you could be with your child?
- Do you have a new baby that is getting most of your attention?
- Is there any turmoil in your family?
Any of the above could make your child feel that he/she wants extra time through this rough patch.
2. Choosing an activity is difficult for him:
Play alone is a difficult thing for children, some children find it difficult for them to choose an activity to play alone. They always want someone to play with them because they want someone to guide the play.
3. They don’t know how to play by themselves:
Some kids may know how to play, but they need help in choosing a game. Perhaps they don’t feel creative enough, they don’t find the game exciting enough (Kids don’t want toys, they want adventures).
Some children’s personalities are well-matched to playing alone. They can sit for hours building, coloring, creating, or pretending. But many can’t so need help from someone. They seem to find joy in the act of the play when another person is engaged with them.
Best Way to Respond –
Teaching your child to play by himself is an important life skill. By learning to play alone, your child will learn the skill of self-soothing. Children who can soothe themselves can reduce their feelings of frustration when they are confronted with situations they do not like.
The best way to respond to this question is to say this to your child:
- Pick two things you can do by yourself. (If he cannot pick, then help him.)
- Choose one of them to do by yourself.
- You need to play this by yourself until the timer goes off. If you want, you can switch to the other one, but you need to play by yourself the whole time.
Offer your child praise and compliments for playing alone. This way he will feel that he is receiving your attention even though you did not play with him.