Achieving the delicate balance between parenting and productivity has become an increasing challenge for parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those with young children who have not yet learned to play independently.
But experts say there is no time like the present to help your children develop a sense of independence through play, allowing parents to reclaim their time in isolation.
“It’s great for our children to have opportunities to play alone because that kind of game comes with many imaginative skills, language, and experiences,” Caron Irwin, an expert in child development and parenting, told CTV’s Your Morning Tuesday.
“[But] it is overwhelming for us to tell our children to go to the playroom and play because [kids want to know] with what game, how long am I going to be here?
Irwin says that independent play is an essential skill for children, but that parents should teach collaboratively with their children.
Your children’s ability to play independently will vary based on their age and their experiences in the game, whether they are children, siblings, or how often they interact with other children, for example.
The biggest challenge that most parents face is explaining the concept of time. To prepare your children for success, you suggest giving them a tangible cue to understand how long they should be playing alone.
“If you say, ‘I need you to play for 30 minutes while I get some emails,’ they may not have a concept of time,” he said.
Instead, if we create a playlist of his favorite songs and say, “I need you to go play all these songs, and when the songs are ready, let’s get together and kick the soccer ball outside.”
Irwin points out that one of the best ways for parents to combat interruptions and the constant tugging on their sleeves that comes with isolation boredom is to spend some time with children’s play every day.
She suggests setting aside 10 to 15 minutes of play time when children can guide their parents.
“That kind of time you spend with your children should be directed at children, where they take the back seat and guide you through what they want you to do,” he explains.
“Having that experience helps empower them, gives them the attention they need and crave, which helps them be more forgiving later in the day when they need them to entertain when they need to do things.”
Irwin, who provides regular advice to parents struggling with COVID-19 isolation on his Instagram page, also recommends giving children play exercises that help them release emotions they may not be able to express, especially at times like these.
“Giving your child a crayon and telling them to just scribble, let them run and kick the pavement, or throw a ball against the wall with repeated force, are all activities that we should encourage our children to do often. “, said. she wrote in a recent Instagram post.
“Guiding your children to these safe outlets will benefit them in BIG ways. Plus, they’re fun and liberating, which could help turn those tough, uncomfortable feelings into a smile or a giggle. “