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Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Why can’t kids entertain themselves anymore?

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Are we doing too much for our kids so they don’t know how to entertain themselves?

As a parent I have never found myself saying so often ‘find something to do’.  As a working parent there are times when I do have to focus on my work and not be able to be interact with my school age children and so they need to occupy themselves.  School holidays means they are home more and I still have my work to do, so they have more hours to spend entertaining themselves.  I do not encourage electronic games, preferring imagination, creativity and physical activity.

Educational-Games-For-KidsMy eldest children never seemed to ‘hover’ when they were younger.  They would get their toys and play, they would build cubbies, play games and get creative with craft. Now I seem to have to direct the younger ones every step of the way or they just seem to ‘wander’ and not be able to find something to do.  What has changed?  

The younger ones do get more structured activities with their martial arts, music and gymnastics which takes up more time during the week after school.  It means they only get time to do homework and participate in their activity, leaving only a small amount of free time in the afternoons.  This is the time that I prepare dinner and get routine chores done.  

I have the realisation that the children don’t actually know how to do the activities that could be entertaining them.

My older children were in the daycare centre with me when I worked, I was doing activities and playing with them whilst working.  The younger children have not had that experience. 

If I wasn’t spending the afternoons running my children around to their various activities I could be sitting with them at the table teaching them to do things like sewing or playing board games or in the kitchen cooking,  or we could be in the back yard throwing hoops, learning hopscotch or making a garden.  

They would know the skills needed, where to put things, how to use and manipulate items, the boundaries, and how to clean up afterwards.  It also means we would know their capabilities and trust them to work on their own and hence self entertain.  

We want our children to be given opportunities to learn and participate, that is why we enrol them, in a sport, to play an instrument, to develop a skill. Should we also consciously factor in free time so we can spend time with them and they will then learn how to use their initiative and be self driven when needed? 

If you want someone to play games and do activities with your children, the babysitters at Cherished Cherubs Babysitting will happily play these with your children.  Call them on  0417 927 525.

 

Read 3161 times Last modified on Sunday, 29 September 2019 19:08

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