Your child’s body doesn’t know the difference between playing and exercising. But their mind sure knows when they are having fun. We adults call it working out, while our children call it playing.
Ever felt like your kid is whiling away precious time while indulging in fun and games? Well, that’s okay, it sometimes worries the best of us!
Which is why, like me, a lot of us consciously or unconsciously, infringe on our children’s playtime by enrolling them into mentally taxing tuitions.
But, what if I told you that the time ‘squandered away’ in playing, could teach your child more than what Kumar Sir could in 100 hours of his class?
Well, here’s my argument to how children learn life’s most important lesson through playing:
1. EVERY ACTION HAS A CONSEQUENCE.
Has your kid ever hidden her bruises from you? This is probably because she loves going out in the park more than sitting at home but also knows you, who wish the best for her, will ask her to stay back.
By taking responsibility for her actions, your child understands the VALUE IN PAIN and that EVERY ACTION HAS A CONSEQUENCE.
2. NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE
Ever consoled your injured son, only to have him desert you and get back to playing at the blink of an eye, as if he never got hurt?
Well, it is no news that your kid loves to play and some words of encouragement from you is exactly what he needs to get back on the field and instill a NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE.
Maybe a few times over they would understand that the bruises would come and go but THEY’D KEEP GETTING STRONGER.
3. OVERCOMING FEARS
At a very young age, my daughter developed a fear of swings. But it took a great deal of communication, choosing the right words, and going on swings myself, to lure her into getting onto swings.
Initially, I would have her sit on my lap until one day she went on it by herself. And then never stopped!
If you ever find yourself in this spot, you could subtly help your child learn that running away from what scares you is never the solution. It is FACING YOUR FEARS, that can expand your horizons.
4. DEDICATION BEATS MOTIVATION
Ask any professional athlete what makes them great and they will tell you that, it is showing up on the days when they don’t want to, is what made them exceptional.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY to learning and growing in life. And what can teach this better than the discipline that your child learns from just any sport she chooses to play! Yes, even chess!
5. AND EVERYTHING ELSE
From inculcating healthy habits and instilling qualities like PERSISTENCE, RESILIENCE, to DEVELOPING REFLEXES; Playing a sport can teach your child just about everything and holistically develop them.
Whether they play solo or in teams, at the end of the day, they LEARN TO HANDLE BOTH SUCCESS & FAILURE.
The hobbies your child chooses today have the potential to become her/his strengths tomorrow.
My advice to you: Instead of encroaching on your child’s playing hours, next time, join your kid and play along! I’m sure you’re never too old to rekindle the inner child in you. And yes, it’ll improve the bond between your kid and yourself!
A Family that plays together, stays together! ThinkTac