/ Wednesday, October 14, 2015
5 Reasons You Should Participate Instead of Watching From the Bench
The above photo was taken before a family bike ride earlier this year. Yes, I know we look a mess.
What inspired me to write this post is our frequent trips to various parks all over the Kansas City area. I have noticed that a lot of the parents I see at the park with their children are bench warmers. They're sitting, being all cute, on their phones or watching, waving and smiling at their kids from afar. I'm not implying that there's something wrong with that, I'm just giving an alternative, which is GET UP AND PLAY! :-)
It's no secret to my family and friends, that my husband and I act like big kids. We love to have fun, we like to get involved and participate with our children, if we can. Recently, I was over my mother's house trying to skateboard down her block on my sister's skateboard. I almost busted my butt more than a few times, but I had fun! I taught my son how to sit and ride the skateboard down the street. I also swing at the park, get dirty in the sandbox, go bike and scooter riding, and my husband and I were on a seesaw together recently.
So what if people look at us like we're crazy. They don't matter.
My husband and I ride the kiddie rides with our kids at amusement parks, we ride water slides with the kids. Of course, we have our limits, like the tunnels at Chick-Fil-A or something, but other than that, whatever we're able to do, we're on it.
We enjoy finding ways to enhance their fun. My husband put a tire swing in our backyard, using an old tire we had. He made a bike ramp for our sons. When it snows we make a sledding ramp on the hill in our yard. I recently made a monster truck racing track in a sandbox, with my bare hands!
Enough about us! Here are a few reasons why you should get active with your kids, instead of watching from the bench:
1. It's important to lead by example. If you're active, your kids will be active. If they see you enjoying yourself, they will be encouraged to repeat your positive behavior and enjoy the experience. Show your kids how to have fun! :-)
|My husband made it to the top of the pyramid with the kids.|
2. Bonding time & relationship building. When parents are fully focused and giving their child the attention they want and need during play time, it helps the child feel important and confidant. Interactive play is a great way for parents to connect with their child.
3. It's fun for everyone! Seeing your kids smile and their excitement while Mommy and Daddy participate with them is priceless. Not only that, but some activities that seem like they're more fit for kids, are really fun for adults too!
|I was following behind... On a scooter.|
4. Make great memories. This one is very important to me. I want my kids to remember me, not only as a good mother who set rules and boundaries that helped them develop into good people, I want them to remember me as a mom who frequently enjoyed having a lot of fun with them. Not standing by watching, but actively participating and enjoying the moment with them.
|Earlier this spring. I'm riding a scooter :-).|
5. It helps with skill development and confidence. When parents play with their child there's usually more structure than when playing with other children. This structure can help a child learn how to be a good leader, among other skills. Parents can also help shy and timid kids come out their shell and try new things. I have a personal experience with my youngest son that proves this:
|The kids following the leader, my husband, to the lake.|
I was unprepared for this unexpected journey, hiking through the woods in 2" heeled ankle boots.
|No training wheels!|
|Earlier this summer.|
Of course, all opinions and experiences expressed here are my own. If you're interested in more information regarding the benefits of parent and child play, you can read the report on The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.