May 29, 2008

Teaching children

Do children need to be 'taught' how to play?

My little girls baffle me. I know they are still young, but they just don't seem to know how to play. For instance, we have a cute little kitchen set with dishes,appliances, a tea set, play food and a table with chairs. Yet they rarely ever play like they're cooking. Well, maybe 2-3 times a week or less. Or, they have a box of toys in their room, but they don't seem interested in them.

They all love to watch TV and this in part is my fault. I started them all out on baby Einstein movies as babies. They are just glued to them! It was supposed to be educational and it kept them occupied while I cooked dinner etc. Then I learn that children watching a lot of TV isn't the best thing. Well, now I'm not sure what to do to keep them busy, yet be able to do my job too.

I have allowed our house priority over the children the last few years. I am working on changing that. I have issues that go deep about that and I don't to explain it. Basically I was berated for not keeping the house very well and it stung. I've somehow created a complex in myself that I must have a perfect home at all times now. So, I am working on this :)

Still I am not sure how to get all of them happily busy. They do fight a lot amongst each other, so they need to be separated quite a bit, and that is tough. Anyways, it's hard for me to back down and relax on household things and at times the girls get pushed to the side. I don't want to keep doing that. Watching TV is ok as long as there is plenty of learning and interacting time with mom and dad, in my opinion at least. So, that's my post for today. I have my niece and she is being fussy, so I have to go.


Sonja said...

On "Supernanny" last night was sorta something about this. The Mom cleaned a ton, but never played with her kids. I admit, I do that a lot too. We do school and then they just go and do. I clean or do my own thing. My Mom was a serious, serious big time person on making sure everything was clean, clean, clean. It was rough. Hubby wants things clean, but not like OCD clean. ;)

And I want to say that I loved reading your post about the homemade fabric softener. I can't wait to try it!

Have a great day!

Jennifer said...

You're not alone. My kids are more interested in the sound toys make when being dumbed out of their buckets and how big of a mess they can make. I've noticed that they only PLAY with toys they're actually interested in, doesn't matter if I've sat down with them and showed them how. And of course they have their fights. I'm the same with housekeeping & other projects. For now I'll let them play on their own. Once they get older then I'll step in and show them the rules of play time.

mama said...

Sometimes if you play with them for a while they keep playing on their own.
Other peoples children have days that they fight a lot too.
Try to get them outside even if it has to be with you. That often refocuses everyone around here. HTH

Thirdtimemomma said...

When my kids were (still are somedays) over TV'd it took weeks of practically no TV to get them going. But they will play if they get bored. :) I like what other ladies had to say, they may need just a spark from you. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, we don't have a tv, so we don't have that to fall back on.

I think the trick is, is to play with your kids. Model for them what the plastic dishes are for. Set up the baby dolls for a tea party. Show them how much fun it can be.
Role play. Say,"I'll be the daddy and you be the mommy." Play daddy for a while then demonstrate sharing and say,"Now I'm going to let your sister be the daddy." and show her what to do. Help her along as needed. I assure you that after a short while they wont need your assistance for play.

Schedule in 30 minutes of play time with your girls each morning and afternoon. Give them your pure, uninterrupted time. They will come to look forward to it. It's the best thing you can give them.

Hope this helps!
Mary in TN

Kat said...

I agree with thirdtimemomma. It seems the more screen time my children have that the less creative they are and that it takes several days of very limited screen time to get back that creativity.

Sarah Dee said...

I don't have children, but I have worked with kids for the last six years. Television is not bad, especially these days when there is so much educational programming available. TV should however be limited, and the time limit depends on you. Some people don't want their kids watching much TV, but in my opinion, 2 hours a day, preferably in 30 minute intervals, is not going to hurt. The rest of the time, they can play. That is what is so awesome about kids, they have wonderful imaginations. I like to alternate toys to eliminate boredom. The other commenters were right... sometimes you do have to play with them to get them going. Once they are up and playing, they should be fine. I hope this helps! By the way, I agree, Baby Einstein is addicting! I weaned the 8 month old twins I watch off BE slowly, and now they only watch about 30 minutes a day! It was rough there for a while. :)

Anneatheart said...

Thanks everyone so much for all of the input. It has helped a bunch!