Do you agree that a happy parent is a very critical part of a child’s ecosystem? From the moment a baby opens their eyes as a newborn to becoming a toddler to a school-going child – you are what they see. As a parent, every activity you carry out around your child has a huge impact on them. From when a mom soothes her crying baby to how a father engages with his child when they PLAY with a car set or a doll house. Most of the time we are unaware of how the little things we do can enable them and boost their well-being.
Yet most of us are stuck in a rat race where there is constant pressure on parents to find new opportunities and activities to prepare their children for academic success.
34% of parents admit their family doesn’t play together enough… and say a lack of time, long working hours and too much housework are to blame. – 39% of children feel their parents’ jobs get in the way of family play
Research has shown that there are 5 things that can will eventually set your child up for success in the future. And none require expensive toys, structured learning plans or overly full schedules. Let them PLAY and be the best versions of themselves.
Joy is your secret sauce – Make sure you PLAY with your child and do things that make you laugh and have fun as a family. Bond over their interests and give them positive feedback so they know you’re listening.
Make time with them special and engage with them – Don’t force your decision on them but allow them to think, communicate and collaborate with you and come up with suggestions about things they want to do and enjoy. I always found collaborative storytelling very helpful. Engage in collaborative storytelling sessions where you and your child take turns adding to the story. Encourage them to use their imagination, think creatively, and contribute to the narrative.
Link things to experiences they have already had – You know it’s a fact that kids learn and remember better when experiences and activities relate to their own lives and serve a purpose greater than just information recall.
For example, Imagine your child has a keen interest in animals, particularly elephants. As a playful parent, you can link new experiences to their existing knowledge and fascination with elephants. Building on their interests: Take your child to a local zoo where they can see elephants up close. While observing the elephants, engage them in conversations about their behaviour, habitat, and unique features. You can also read books or watch documentaries together that provide more in-depth information about elephants. They will learn so much through PLAY while having fun.
Let them choose and decide and be an active participant rather than just a recipient. You give your child time and space to choose activities and PLAY, their role in it changes. Let them join daily tasks and highlight relevant knowledge and skills along the way. You should let them figure out the next step but help them along when they are stuck.
Teach them to try and then try again. Young minds with their little hands have big dreams. Encourage them to try new things. And tell them that there is not one solution or right answer.
What happens when you do build this kind of relationship with your child? You are inviting your kids to be curious and creative explorers. Their emotional & cognitive skills will be boosted. And of course, they will learn to communicate, collaborate and be happy people.
So help your kids learn while playing and having fun. It all comes to them so much easier when there is no pressure or stress of performing a particular way. Don’t you agree?
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This post is in association with LEGO® India