“I want you to interact with my kid all day.” — is the most alarming thing I’ve ever heard a parent say.
There are more than a few reasons why but I’ll just list a couple so you get the idea.
1. That’s exhausting for both of us.
2. Kids that constantly interact with an adult — begin lacking a fully developed imagination.
3. Never learning independent play results in a kid that has 0 executive function.
4. That same kid will believe that they need constant adult attention and stimulation.
See how that can be detrimental? This mom (in the YouTube video below) had the same qualms that most parents have but I can break them down for you.
As a caregiver, I’m with some kids FAR more than their parents. I’ve had some kids from the moment they got up until I put them to sleep — for days on end, evolving into weeks and months. So, spare me the, “You’re not a parent, you wouldn’t understand” nonsense.
Kids have to learn that life will not literally revolve around their every move. Most importantly, they have to learn how to enjoy spending time with themselves. Independent play stimulates the creative part of the brain, and helps a child better understand what’s going on in their own heads (and lives). Independent play is when kids make sense of everything they’re learning all day.
Pro Tip: Start small. 5 minutes of play time by themselves. Increase the time as your kid gets used to what’s happening.
Make yourself unavailable to them.
Learn which toys and activities your kids enjoy — adjust them accordingly.
Teach it. Use it. Enjoy the benefits.