“Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute ‘presents’ for ‘presence.’” – Dr. Anthony Witham
One important way we can give our children the gift of “presence” is by playing with them. When your children ask you to play, remember they are inviting you into their world. It is a great opportunity to connect on their level and deepen your relationship.
Perhaps you feel like you do not even know how to play, and that is okay! Let your children lead the way and you will reap the benefits of enjoying those moments together. Setting aside even just 15 minutes a day for playtime with your kids can make a huge impact on their lives, and on yours!
Whether your children are into building blocks or dolls, entering their world of play will brighten their day and show them you care about their interests. Playing together allows time for you to listen to, encourage, and learn from your children. You can see their personalities shine as you create scenarios for superheroes and dolls.
Taking playtime outside is easy to do on the islands with beaches, mountains and streams to explore with your little ones. Enjoying nature together not only promotes your connection as a family, it also promotes good health and wellbeing in general. Getting outdoors together also balances out any screen time our children or we adults partake in. Even just kicking the soccer ball around or tossing a football to each other can create a sense of camaraderie and fun between you and your children.
If you have more than one child, you may want to consider going on “dates” with each individual child. That one-on-one time allows you to focus on their needs without distraction. It can be as simple as playing at the park, getting a treat at the doughnut shop, taking an art class together or checking out a new beach.
Your children may not remember that the car was washed or that the home was immaculate, but they will remember with fondness the times you got on their level and played with them.