I don’t know if I should say my daughter joins me when it’s my time to play or I join her, all in all we play, and I treasure all the time we spend in play. Don’t expect to see us in public playing serious sports. In fact, during sport’s day in her school, she is everywhere cheering her friends, while am seated under a tree taking ice cream. Am not confident in any sport, and she is still finding herself. We have been planning to learn how to swim for over three years; we are still looking for a coach. So when I talk about play, I mean crazy play. Unscripted, unplanned for play.
The best is always the pillow fights, especially when we are not okay, having one of those cold wars, the pillows help us break the ice. We are also professional s in hide and seek. Once she came from school and hid in the wardrobe. it hit me that its past her arrival time, and I started pacing up and down calling the drivers and everyone I know, asking if she was even in school that day, and when I got to my breaking point, she came out laughing out loud like she had accomplished a lifetime goal. (This one made me put limits to the game). Let’s not even talk about hoola hooping, I am a champion! She will get there someday.
We also play ‘our language’ when with strangers, we speak a strange language which only we understand, and everyone else wonders what’s wrong with us. It’s officially our thing. (Some pat my shoulders congratulating me for teaching her mother tongue, not knowing whatever we are speaking does not make sense even to ourselves). Technology has made things even better, we have all kinds of games on our phones, and once in a while I compete with her, still looking forward to the day I will win.
Children are home for holidays, we see them playing and even send them out to play with their friends. Sometimes we take them out, sit in a restaurant and pay for them to play all other games. We go movie watching, select ‘our movies’ and send them to watch ‘their movies’. Some of us only show up to pick trophies when they emerge champions in different sports in school, but are too busy to go watch them play and support them.
I have learnt to take part; of course we don’t play every day: Who does that? But I have made my daughter my playmate. It has helped me know her competitiveness, how she behaves when she wins, and how she reacts when she loses. (We both never lose; we both cheat a lot, so our games are fun).
There is time for everything, so when it’s time to play, parents lets be part of it as much as we can, it’s a good way to bond with your child, don’t put a wall in between, be part of their games and know what they are learning from the different games. In addition, loosen up a bit, let not uncles and aunties carry all the fun, while you carry along the boring brand.
So, now that most of them are home with you for the holidays make a point of playing with them no matter how crazy the games are, be part of them.