I believe in playing with your kids. When my daughter was 7 years old and in the first grade, she began making friends and inviting them over to our home to play. While playing dolls my daughter told her friend “that’s my mom’s doll” and then turned to ask me if I wanted to play. Instinctively, I kneeled down beside the two girls and grabbed my doll who I had named Caroline. My daughter’s friend sat there eyes wide and mouth agape. She said “your mom plays with you?” My daughter laughed and replied, “of course, doesn’t your mom play with you?” Her friend looked at me strangely and said “no”. The brief moment of silence was broken by my doll Caroline knocking at the door. You see the other dolls were having a dinner party that she was not invited to and Caroline was determined to crash it!
As my daughter grew and interacted with a variety of kids. I had the pleasure and at times displeasure of meeting and getting to know their parents. One thing that seemed to be constant was that none of them played with their kids. Sure they all took them to the playground and pushed a swing. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about sitting on the floor with your kid and entering their world of imagination. I’m talking about forgetting the dishes, the bills, and the fact your legs fall asleep when you sit Indian style for too long and playing with your son or daughter. It gives them your attention, your creativity and your affection. It gives them a piece of you.
By the way, my daughter is now 17 years old. We recently toured the University which she will be attending this fall. There’s an actual castle on the campus which houses the dormitory for freshmen girls. My daughter turned to me and said “I’m going to be living in a castle just like when we used to play princess!” You see, I didn’t just play with my daughter. I created memories. Fighting back the tears from my eyes as I write this, I believe in playing with your kids.
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