04 Sep Why Allowing Your Kids to Play is a Good Thing?
Recently, a friend of ours asked my son what’s his favorite subject. My son looked at her with the biggest smile ever and shyly said, “Playing!” She laughed as if to say, “How cute!” Right then, feelings of inadequacy kicked in for me.
As a result of my feelings, I thought here I am homeschooling, which calls enough attention to itself, and my son is saying his favorite subject is PLAYING! Out of embarrassment, my response (while praying he’d come up with something better this time) was to quickly ask him his favorite subject again. Again, his response with a huge smile and shy tone was “Playing!”
At this moment, I found myself getting irritated and bothered by something so small as my 6-year-old son’s favorite subject. I replied with a snap, “She means math, science, history, art, reading, writing, etc.”
With an innocent look of confusion, as if he wondered why playing was not included in this list, my son looked at me and said, “Science”. He said this with hesitation, as if I was forcing him to pick a backup plan because Plan A wasn’t good enough.
For the rest of the day this encounter tugged at my heart. Was it really so bad that my son enjoyed playing and that this really was his favorite subject? Why did I care so much about the impression I felt he was making? And why wasn’t I thankful that my 6-year-old son still enjoys playing? As these thoughts flooded my mind, more of the benefits of play seemed to drown my thoughts of inadequacy.
Let your kids be kids!
If you have a child that simply enjoys playing, my hope is that you would be encouraged by the benefits of play:
- Develops social skills
- Stimulates a child’s imagination and boosts creativity
- Encourages independence
- Helps release energy
- Functions as a stress reliever
- Improves brain function
These are just a few of the many benefits of play. The next time your child wants to play, play with them and experience some of the same benefits. Be mindful that this love for play may not last too long, and seize the moment. We live in a time where play is less encouraged and saturated with more and more work. Teaching our children the importance of working hard is important, but let’s not underestimate child’s play. Our children will have plenty of time for seat work and hard work. Let’s enjoy the moments we share with them and have fun!