parents play
Middle School Children,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  School Aged Children

Why It’s More Than Okay To NOT Play With Your Kids?

kid play
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

For a moment: think back to your childhood. What do you remember most about play time as a kid?

  • Riding your bike (ceck out the latest ebike offers before the sales end)
  • Splashing in the creek with friends
  • Sitting in your bff’s tree house playing Barbies
  • Making secret clubs in your closet 
  • Creating plays with your cousins.

These are some killer memories!

Now really think about it, who did you spend most of your time playing with? As an only child, I had to either find friends to play with or spend time by myself.

Thinking back, there is rarely a time where I can remember my mom truly sitting down and playing with me. As a mom myself, I get why she didn’t want to dress Barbies over and over again.

It wasn’t as if she neglected me because I have thousands of memories doing fun things and going places with my mom. There were many game nights and being silly around the house, but as far as actual playing, NONE!

Do NOT Play With Your Kids: Moms Suck At IT


Sure, the kids want me to be involved and that’s cool, but only when it’s fun. The moment it stops being fun for anyone, I’m out. 

They have their ways to play and I have mine. I don’t want them to think I’m ignoring them so we set limits. I’ll say something like, “Ok, I’ll play for 20 minutes and then I have things I need to get done upstairs.”

By setting a time limit to my free play, I have an escape plan. This way they get the attention they want and I don’t have to sit there being bossed around playing their game.

children dressed super heroes

Free Play Lets The Imagination Run Wild

If I became involved in this game, I would screw everything up by asking too many realistic questions.

And this is the norm in our house. Even with four kids, they are all great about letting their creativity flow.

I used to wonder if it was weird how my kids talk to themselves. Really , it’s just them voicing their ideas out loud.

Coincidentally, I do the same when I’m writing…

On a daily basis, I catch a child with a stuffed animal whispering to it. I have no idea what is happening and truthfully it’s none of my business. Everyone wins!

Letting Go Of Mom Guilt Regarding Play

Find Fun Activities To Do As A Family 

  • Teaching them card games from your childhood
  • Board Games
  • Family movie night
  • Exploring your neighborhood with nature walks
  • Hiking at a local park
  • Reading books together
  • Walking the dog
  • Day Trips
  • Tossing a ball around in the backyard

Million Dollar Question: Do you play with your kids?

Original Post Date: October 15, 2018 (Updated March 13, 2023)

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