OkayCon FREE Virtual Summit happening now
If you’re not sure how much more of this whole stuck-at-home stuff you can take, go to okaycon.com for a new, relevant interview each Monday and Wednesday, and a watch party each Monday and Wednesday evening throughout April! We will get through this together <3
I recorded this before our current “double pandemic” (of Covid-19, and Fear). But it seems especially relevant now:
Can you, or should you, train your child to play independently?
Do you negatively impact a child by playing with them often?
Do you feel guilty, whether you say “yes, I’ll play,” or “no, not right now”?
One member of our Ninja Parenting Community brought up these, and many other questions regarding independent play (her questions reference an only child… but this applies to all parents.)
Join us today to listen as I share the answers to these questions!
(Click weturnedoutokay.com/327 to view the video and see the notes.)
What we’re doing here at WTOO to help you through the pandemic:
All during April’s OkayCon 2020 Virtual Summit we’re having live watch parties, so we can keep each other company in this era where we all need that!
Sign up to be notified about the guests and watch parties:
Find out details about the summit itself:
Like me, you are probably feeling all kinds of fear, anxiety, and worry right now.
Besides which, you are also likely sheltering in place with kids – whose behavior is leaving a lot to be desired at the moment!
That’s why I am offering a special membership rate, just $1 for your whole first month! It’s the Friends & Family rate, available for a limited time at the following link:
Our first Pandemic Parenting News:
Click here for the NYT parenting article in which a bouncer, a referee, and a therapist all help you stop your kids from fighting.
Click here for the hilarious and wonderful essay “We, The Hard-Working, Newly Homeschooling Parents of America, have Rewritten the Common Core Standards.”
Click here for the Boston Globe article “Seven activities keeping my family sane during isolation.”
Click here for @childlifesaver’s wonderful post, “How to help kids wear masks,” in Instagram.
Wishing you well throughout this unprecedented time! We will get through it together <3
Notes on Playing with Your Only Child
1. “Anyone out there an only child who can speak to this kind of thing?”
Neither my husband nor I are onlies, so I can’t speak directly in this way.
But I will say this: whatever a child’s circumstances, we as their parents can make it work.
2. “How do I “train him” to play more independently? Or do I even need to do that? Will he gradually play more independently as he gets older?”
SUCH a great question.
Learning to play independently – without screens, in an open-ended way – is the work of childhood. So, yes, as he gets older he will gradually do this better.
Formal training is unnecessary, and possibly even detrimental.
But, as we get more into a little later in the video, the play he does with you also needs to work for you.
3. “Are my husband and I somehow enabling him by playing with him often?”
You’re not enabling him in any negative way. I view it as the opposite, you give him important tools when you play with him.
But referenced above, it must work for you. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so if you need to be done playing, he will adapt.
4. “Oftentimes he’ll say, “Mama, can you play with me?” and sometimes I say “yes” and sometimes I say “yes but after I do XYZ” and sometimes I say “not right now but later.” Part of me feels guilt putting up boundaries and part of me feels guilty when I don’t.”
Again, a great question and such a classic conundrum for parents.
Shorthand, healthy boundaries are important both for your child, and for you.
Part of our parenting job is to help children understand that sometimes they must bend to the world, and not the other way around.
(Here is the link to the free guide I created on How to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, for when that is especially difficult.)
I think – and I do try to communicate in this video – that feeling guilty as we do this is damaging for everyone. Because when we are not happy, nobody’s happy.
So if you can I would ask that you set aside the guilt, and forgive yourself, and look to healthy self-care to help you feel better.
5. “Anyone else out there have one child questions/scenarios like this one?”
Ninja parents, if you’ve had the experience of raising an only child, or being an only child yourself, please jump into our forums and share.
Hope this is helpful!
Super proud of you as you bring this important issue to light, and work towards a good resolution for you and your family <3