Monday, December 3, 2012
Playing with children
I have this difficult argument in my head all the time. How much do I need to play with Olivia. I'm usually somewhere in between "not at all" and "medium". I'm grateful I'm a nanny, for the kids that play with her, because I'm horrible at it. I hate it. I hate playing with my kid or with any kid really. Things I do love: reading her a book, giving her a bath, feeding her, singing with her, dancing with her, coloring with her. But like dolls? I honestly don't know how to play dolls with her, except to encourage her to kiss her baby or hug her baby or put her baby to sleep. Most of these things she does with out my prompting, she's got a good imagination.
The kids I nanny will beg: Play trains with me! But if I'm feeling weak and actually give in, all it ends up being is them bossing me around with what to say and do. Eh, I don't see how it enriches them. I usually end up begging them to read a book with me instead.
I kind of feel like kids should have to play with out adults. Isn't that where imagination and creativity come from? I can teach a kid their ABC's or numbers, but I can't teach a kid to use their imagination.
I'm guessing in the future I'll play board games with my kids, I'll do craft projects with them, and a few other things that Olivia isn't able to do right now.
I feel good about teaching her to play independently. And I feel horrible about it like I'm neglecting her. Except I'm totally not. Anyone who has heard her speak knows we have a lot of conversations and she's picked up on some pretty funny expressions from me.
So if you disagree with me, and think I'm a horrible parent, don't feel too bad for Olivia. Her dad plays with her a lot. I kind of think that's what dads are for.