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Playing With Your Kids

Can Moms Be Bad Playmates For Their Kids?

It's not about the quantity, but the quality of the time you spend together. Standing in line to drop my son off at school, I overheard two moms talking about their weekends filled with birthday parties and visits with relatives when one blurted out a confession, "I feel guilty, but I'm just not good at playing with my kids. I read with them, I cook with them, but I'm not good at sitting on the floor and playing with them. I find it boring."

Her honesty was startling and got me thinking. When I come home from work each day, I'm thrilled if my kids are willing to sit and race cars with me or whip things up in their play kitchen. Sure, there are days when my mind is wandering to the laundry and pile of dishes that await me when they go to sleep, but I think (at least I hope) they enjoy the time as much as I do. What do you think?

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Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 5 years
I find her honesty refreshing, too! There are some things I love to do with my kid, and others that I can't stand. There are times, even though I know that she'll grow up fast and that I should be spending quality time with her, that I need a break. That's when we go to the park or some sort of indoor play area. She runs amok with a more appreciative audience, and I chill out and be quiet.
TaciZ TaciZ 5 years
Agree! Like another commenter stated, I can never seem to get it "right" and my 5 year old is downright bossy about it at times. But usually if I give them 15 minutes or so they move on and then I'm free to tackle the laundry or computer work that's been calling to me from the start! :-)
amber512 amber512 5 years
I think every mom is different. Some love those things and some find it mind-numbingly boring. I used to babysit constantly and the kids always loved me because their other babysitters would just talk on the phone or watch TV the whole time while I spent the time actually playing with them. But now with my nieces and nephews I just don't last very long. It probably doesn't help that I work in a child care and spend a LOT of time pretending to be interested in the same stuff over and over again.
Stephamus Stephamus 5 years
I do not have kids myself, but I have a sister who is 12 years younger than I am. I often found it very hard to connect with her when she was younger (she's 12 now) and mostly because I had already been a kid, and while I still enjoy reminiscing about things I did when I was younger, I don't particularly enjoy "playing" as much. I didn't enjoy playing with dolls with her, or doing her art projects. I felt like a horrible sister, but there was just such an age gap that I admit it was difficult for me. Now I often think about when I have my own children, will I still have a hard time "connecting" in the play realm with them?
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