It’s natural for free time to be last on the priority list when things must get done. I am NOT a perfect parent. Nope, not me. Who is? As parents, we do what we know is best for our family. There are days when we could do better and days when we could do worse.
If I had one wish for ALL families no matter the age of the kids, it would be to make an appointment for free play. That means fitting in time every day for your child to be off the grid. I don’t care if it’s time used to sleep, to read, to hang out outdoors, or get reacquainted with some old toys. We all need downtime and not just in the ten minutes before we go to bed. [And downtime is NOT the same as screen time. The kids might be quiet but their brains are still racing.] If free play doesn’t have a space on your calendar, then write it in!
It leaves time for pretending to make ice cream cones:
And time for inventing:
Time for developing a knack for artistry:
And for devising new rules to old games:
Kids need time to be kids and time to play without guidance:
In short, this time allows for creativity and peacefulness. Adults need it, too! So don’t leave yourself out, even if it’s just sitting down for a few moments on those days when there seems to be no time. Because, you know what? There is time!
It’s not easy to unschedule ourselves, but the pay-off is measurable — you’ll be more contented as parents and have happier kids with fewer meltdowns at the end of the day.
Top photo courtesy of Bosh Images.