A recent article in the New York Times was an eye opener. It focused on the effort by some parents and child advocates to bring back play time. Bring back play time? I had no idea it went anywhere. After reading the story though, I realize maybe playing isn't as second nature to children as it should be.
The article cites many reasons for the decline of play, including more time in front of the television and less access to parks. It also mentions parental behaviors, like adults having their noses buried in their BlackBerry or iPhone device. I suppose if parents don't know how to play properly, children may not be able to learn how play on their own..
It's true that playing with your kids can be hard work. Sometimes I tell Kellan I can't sit on the floor any more because my legs are falling asleep or my back hurts. Sometimes I get very excited that he's going to preschool and I have a few hours that do not involve setting up train tracks. Sometimes I think about how I used to have a fast-paced career and now an eventful day is getting my son to eat broccoli.
So yes, playing - actually, playing with enthusiasm - is definitely hard work. But isn't that the challenge we sign up for when we become parents? The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with not always being up for play, but I try not to show my lack of enthusiasm to my kid. I'm not always successful, but I try! Then I look forward to my next "day off" when I can have a few blissful hours to myself on a weekend while my husband takes over play duty for the day. So it all works out.
How do you handle play time?