I decided to link up with Jen’s seven posts in seven days. This one’s been in the post draft folder for a while so I thought now would be a perfect time to get it done.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, the fact that I just don’t love getting down on the floor and building legos, train tracks, playing “kitchen” and all those other things my kids LOVE to do. I just don’t care to do it. That being said I’m not OK with ALWAYS putting them to play by themselves in their room or in the basement play room, but I try to not get worked up when people say “you have to interact with you kids all the time”.
I count myself lucky, my kids play very well together. I don’t know if that’s anything I did, or if my kids, John and Katherine especially, just really enjoy spending time together. Maybe because of the closeness in age.
So instead of getting down on the floor and playing with my little ones, I do other things to spend time with them. And by this “spending time together” I mean doing something with them, they still basically have decided that they would like to play anywhere I am located, so technically I’m still with them.
I’m good with reading to the kids. We haven’t done as much during the day reading as we used to. Not entirely sure why that is, but I do hope to get back into more day-time reading. We try to read right before “nap”/rest time, one book each. And we definitely read before bedtime, again, one book each and maybe a chapter in a longer book if there’s time. I read once that kids need to be read to for at least 10 minutes a day to develop good reading skills, listening skills, and love of reading. I briefly panicked, and said “oh no! how much time am I reading to the kids?!?” I laughed when I realized how much time I actually spend reading with them. (BTW, I don’t remember where I heard that “10 minute” rule, so I don’t know how scientific it is…)
I more often than not spend time cleaning and having my kids “help”. I don’t just mean the daily picking up of toys. But other household chores. I’m not sure where it comes from, but my kids love anything that comes in spray bottles and requires using rags. One of their favorite activities is cleaning the windows on the back door (the sun shines in there in the afternoon and it’s real easy to see all the smudges, and they get the biggest kick out of squirting the homemade cleaner on and wiping it down). They also enjoy mopping (one of my least favorites), washing dishes, doing laundry, just general helping with any activity I’m doing.
I think kids really like to just be doing what you’re doing, be that cleaning or trying to write a blog post. And it’s a way to get some things a little more clean than they normally would if it were just me cleaning by myself.
Eating all the meals together, without electronics or other distractions at the table. This seems like a no-brainer way to spend time with the kids. But I know that many families choose to eat in front of the TV or not all together. My kiddos can be hilarious if you take the time to listen to them, and more often than not that hilarity comes out at the dinner table. I say without electronics because I don’t like having the phone at the table, it’s too easy to pick it up and check something that’s not really important. I say other distractions because sometimes it’s tempting to get a book and read it while they’re finishing food, but I can interact with them a lot better if I’m not distractedly trying to do something else.
I guess I try to be present in the times we do spend together, but I don’t worry about spending play time with them. They enjoy playing with each other. I think it’s good for them to learn independence. I do try to be present if they ask questions or ask for help and not try and brush them off.
Anyways, off to begin the rest of the day. Katherine is asking for a book 🙂