Confession of a Busy Parent
All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players.
While we all understand Shakespeare’s comparison between life and a play, it’s our children who seem to really get it. From being a princess to a dragon or a doctor to a chef, these young pretenders can take on many different roles with ease. The concept of role playing, with all its creativity and imagination, seems to come so naturally to kids.
The distractions in today’s busy world, however, can interfere with this natural creative energy. After a tiring long day at office or home, it is much easier to turn the TV on and watch others do the role playing. Need to get dinner ready? Throw her an iPad with a free “educational” app. That monkey rattling off alphabets has to be better than that monkey doing something else!
This is not an attempt to make anyone feel bad or judge their parenting but a self-confession of a busy parent who lives the reality of juggling between jobs, chores, errands, and parenting. It’s not that we don’t know the importance and value of play — especially pretend play. Teachers, parents, and psychologists seem to agree that this form of play is crucial in child development and significantly increases a child’s capacity for cognitive flexibility and creativity. (Interesting article on this by Dr. Kaufman in Psychology Today: The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development ).
We also know that engaging in pretend play with your little ones is a lot of fun and an opportunity for creating lifelong memories. The issue is either lack of time and/or lack of experience in providing a child with a diverse play experience. So what do we do? Well — I don’t know! We have some ideas and we are sure you have some ideas too. Between all of us, we can figure something out.
We’d like to invite all parents and grandparents to share any interesting ideas/activities that they do with their kids while promoting the concept of role-play. We would be happy to compile these ideas and make them available for anyone who would find them useful. It doesn’t have to be anything big. As long as it promotes pretend play and allows a parent’s engagement at the end of a long day, we’d love to hear about it!
You can post your ideas in the comments section of this blog, on our Facebook page or simply e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope we can help each other with some cool ideas. We will compile and share everything we get in a few weeks. Till then — let’s play!