One of the tragedies of getting older is the fact that we forget how to play. The pressures of work (often both parents) coupled with all those urgent jobs that HAVE to be done around the house, squeeze out the important jobs like playing with your children. This is NOT something that you can delegate to a day care centre or pre-school or school! These institutions have their place in your child learning to play, but for them it is just work. For you as parents and grandparents it should be a passion.
Why? Making play fun is teaching children to be passionate about learning. This is one of the things that convinces children that they are loved and wanted. Australian social researcher, Hugh McKay, states in his book “What Makes Us Tick”, that the most basic desire of life is to be taken seriously. If you make time to play with them and have fun together doing it, they will learn an invaluable lesson, because you took them and their needs seriously. You noticed them and gave them a high priority in your busy day.
If our children feel that they don’t count and get only the leftovers of our time, then we shouldn’t be surprised to find some alarming statistics. Hugh McKay quotes some research conducted by Professor Bruce Robinson, Professor of Medicine in University of Western Australia, who found that having an “uninvolved fathers double the risk of drug addiction in teenagers” (P7).
All too often fathers are too distant and rarely play cars with their sons or dress ups with their daughters! Set aside some time today to play with your children and show them they ARE important.