Saturday, 7 June 2014

Playful Parenting / Lawrence Cohen - not a book review

I am aiming for this to be a series of me writing about parenting/homeschooling books I've read, but at this rate... Anyway I really enjoyed reading this book, I think I've learnt a lot from it. I hope to be a more fun parent who plays more with her kid.

Today Butterfly asked me why I wanted a baby and I answered for her to have someone to play with. Meaning more in the terms of siblings as a long-term relation, that they will have each other long after I am gone, but I just said to play with. She replied in a happy voice: "that means you won't have to play with me anymore". Ouch! Big ouch. The truth is, besides being so energyless, I can't explain but I don't really want to play with her. Actually weird because before I had her, when it was other people's kids I looked after, I could play with them for hours. But when we play, mainly her playmobile and blocks that she builds things for them [and I will add in brackets that I love how she uses her imagination plus "building skills" with the combination of the two], I am tires and can't stop yawing. I try not showing her but obviously she sees. I wouldn't want my mother to behave like that when she plays with me, so why can't I do better!? She used to call me a lot to come to play, I am sad to admit she calls me much less. I want to play with her but I also don't want to play with her. C does talk about this and says playing with your child might be difficult because it brings up your own feelings etc. Don't know, just know that I have to work on it.

C talks about the importance of play for building a bond between parent and child and as a way for the child to express herself. Playing also lets kids try adult roles, helps them reconnect with their parent and recover from emotional stress. He talks about getting down (literally & metaphorically) and playing with your kid. I am glad to say that I never had any problem sitting on the floor and playing..
He also talks about the importance of rough-housing. In short rough-housing creates opportunity for a human, physical connection, and it increases the kids confidence and their sense of power [he does have rules, like no hitting or biting, and stopping as soon as a code word is said, by either side]. So I started rough-housing (or trying to) with Butterfly. We call it wrestling and I try to prevent her from getting to the sofa. But she usually doesn't like me to hold her "tight" and prefers the version in which she runs away and goes from sofa to sofa while I "didn't notice". So we don't have much of the physical contact while rough-housing, but I think that is okay as we do have a lot of physical contact throughout the day with hugs and kisses and just being near each other. On the other hand, as this is something fathers usually do, I don't want her not to have this kind of play, plus the other advantages he talked about, so I do try. Though as a mother trying to rough-house on one hand but on the other hand make sure she does not get hurt - not so easy..

Talking of play (and of no dad).. We usually play "mummy" and "daughter" (and friends) or "baby" with the playmobile. The other day I decided to add "daddy" but then felt that maybe it was wrong of me so I quickly added "brother" and "sister" [of which all she doesn't have any]. Today we had "mummy", "daughter" and "baby" and I was debating if to add "daddy" or not. On the one hand she doesn't have a daddy so why make her play this kind of imaginary game, that is why cause her to feel bad about it. On the other hand I do want her to feel normal and comfortable about who she is, including the fact that she doesn't have a daddy. Not to feel that it is something to hide or to be ashamed of so I think I should play this theme with her, but I really don't know, don't want to push her but don't want to ignore it.

3 comments:

Laraf123 said...

I am going to look into this book. I do not enjoy playing with my kids and I feel very guilty about that :(

Tiara said...

Though I do enjoy playing with E,it's hard for me to strike a balance where she plays independently too, because I don't want to play all the time. I'd like to get to a point when I can sit & read a book while she plays...we're not there yet.

Rachael said...

This book sounds interesting, I will add it to my ever-growing to-read list!
"Tickle torture" is the rough-housing game I play with my kids most often. Very little chance of anyone getting injured.