Being playful is an innate and natural part of childhood. Kids of all ages tend to be eager to inject fun and play in almost everything they do.Because fun and laughter are important ingredients of a happy and harmonious family relationship, parents need to remember the importance of playful parenting.

“Playful parenting” is a style of parenting that incorporates intentional and connected playtime  between children and parents. Engaging in shared play not only promotes a fun environment at home; it can also cultivate a stronger bond and a deeper connection between parents and their children. 

While it’s important that children are allowed to play independently, it’s also imperative that parents create time for playful parenting in the routine. Read on to learn more about how incorporating playful parenting can benefit the relationship between you and your child at home.

Play fosters connection and reconnection

What better way is there to strengthen the bond between a parent and a child than by seeing the world through your child’s eyes? Playful parenting makes it easier for parents to both learn from and engage with their kids. It can also help parents form a stronger bond and connect with their kids on a deeper level as it lays a solid foundation for a loving parent-child relationship. 

Whether it’s playing a video game together or engaging in pretend play, be sure to allocate adequate time for play with your little one! These precious moments and memories will stay with your child for a lifetime. 

Play helps children become kind adults

Children who receive adequate attention and feel that they are loved are less likely to exhibit behavioral issues. One excellent way to remind young children that they are loved is by joining them during their playtime instead of merely supervising them from the sidelines. The moments you spend playing with your little one also provides opportunities for instilling in them valuable life lessons. 

For example, when you engage in pretend play with your child, you can make the most of this time to talk about kindness, respect and honesty by incorporating real-life scenarios.

Play helps children develop social skills

Independent play is important, but kids also need to learn how to interact with others as they cultivate  their social skills. This is one of the reasons why we send them to childcare centers and set up playdates with peers. When your child is not among peers, you can also be your child’s playmate. This is an excellent way to continue to boost their communication and social skills through interactions and conversations.

Play helps lighten the atmosphere

Families who make time for play tend to be happier. Play can help to create an atmosphere of joy and levity  at home. Play time with your children can also help to lighten the mood during tough situations and make the environment at home a happier one. 

Play makes children feel wanted

Spending time playing with our kids is one way to communicate that they are wanted. It’s a way of telling them that we love spending time together and being with them. Making time to engage in play with young children can also help boost their confidence because they know that they are secure in their parents’ love. They are more likely to believe in themselves and know they can take on life’s challenges because no matter what. their parents have their backs.

Play helps boost cognitive skills

Playful parenting can turn learning and education into fun and enriching activities. You can use educational toys to teach kids about the alphabet or numbers. When you participate while your little one plays with legos, musical instruments, or puzzles, you can be your child’s guide as they discover how these things work as you help to further spark their logical thinking, imagination and other cognitive abilities.

Play helps boost a child’s confidence and self-esteem

Like adults, young children also tend to doubt themselves and their own capabilities at times. With the help of playful parenting, you can help boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem, thereby helping kids overcome these types of challenges. Engaging in play with your little one is a fun way to boost their sense of self-esteem, especially when you allow them to “win” during a game occasionally.. The thought of winning a game that’s extra challenging because they played it with an adult can be a huge confidence-booster.

Being a parent means having to “wear different hats” every day as we manage both career and family needs. But this shouldn’t excuse us from making time for things that matter most – quality time with our kids. Make sure your little one feels loved and cared for by making time for playful parenting in your home.

For more helpful resources and tips for parenting, please visit The Pillars Christian Learning Center