Monday, June 10, 2013

Playing with your kids

This week I'm going to prioritize play time with my kids. Generally, I'm sort of ambivalent about it. I think it is important but (no offense, kids) it's not my favorite. I don't even feel bad admitting that, because empirically, I'm not alone.
...a 2004 study by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist, who surveyed 909 working Texas women and found that child care ranked sixteenth in pleasurability out of nineteen activities. (Among the endeavors they preferred: preparing food, watching TV, exercising, talking on the phone, napping, shopping, housework.) (All Joy and No Fun Why parents hate parenting.)
{related: Less happy is the new more happy, A lesson in happiness, and to counter the above study, here's another one to make you feel better about the kids you already have Parents Are Happier People: Parents Experience Greater Happiness and Meaning in Life Than Nonparents, Psychologists Find}

Playing with kids is just plain hard. And even when it's sort of fun, like when I'm starting to get into the book I'm reading to the girls or the dolls I'm dressing, something always seems to immediately mess that up. Maggie wants to skip the next seven pages, or start a new book. Or Hannah wants my doll back (but I'm not finished dressing her!). And I'm just too obsessive/compulsive to play Legos with the girls, I mean, come on! the yellow Legos clearly go on that side! SEE! And don't even get me started on coloring books. (I'm mostly joking)

My point is, having quality one-on-one time is hard. But not having it makes me feel guilty. Talk about lose/lose.

But there's good news! (I learned about it here) It's called PRIDE parenting. It helps you get more bang for your buck out of one-on-one time. It sounds a lot like the If I Have to Tell You One More Time's advice on the topic, but with some added guidance I really liked.
PRIDE skills:Here is how you use the
Set up a play table.
Tell the child that this is “our special play time” and he/she may play with any of the toys on the table.
Next, apply the PRIDE skills to the play time.
When 5 minutes (or more if you want, but remember 5 minutes is enough) is over, tell your child that “special playtime is over, but you will play again tomorrow.” Then give a choice of how many toys to pick up. Be sure to not get into a power struggle over clean up.
The Don’ts are:
No Questions
No Commands
No Criticism.
Be Careful - questions and commands put you as dominate this is a time that the child leads the play.
Here's some more info on PRIDE skills.


1 comment:

  1. In our house Debbie, who was one of ten kids, is great playing with kids. Carl, who was an only child for the first ten years of his life, not so much. Clearly he entertained himself a lot as a child and therefore got used to "linear play".