All of us have a cup. We all do a lot better when our cup is full. Our cups can be filled in many different ways, each of us prefers different things to fill our cup. Children become moody, tired, cranky, whiny, and make poor choices when their cup isn't full. So do mamas and dads. I notice my kids do better when they get hugs, get eye contact, are listened too, are validated or encouraged, have engaged time with both mom and dad, have time to just "be" at home, are successful at school, and get time to just play alone or with their siblings.
One way to fill your kiddos cup is to play with them. But with all the things on our to do lists and that occupy our busy lives, sometimes we forget that 15 minutes of uninterrupted engaged time can go a long way and overflow their little cups. And the simple act of play can sometimes be overwhelming. Sometimes, your kiddo's idea of fun isn't the same as yours.
Your kiddo asks you to play kitchen...and you find you are organizing their play kitchen.
Your kiddo asks you to play match box cars and you find yourself lining the cars up by color.
Your girls ask you to play Barbie dolls and you find yourself pairing up all the tiny shoes.
Your kiddos ask you to play hide and seek and you take advantage of the moment to make a swipe for random toys or missing socks tucked under the couch while crouched down hiding.
Your kiddos want you to play "cat", instead of being a cat be the owner...less crawling around (seriously, Raina, be the owner, not the blind cat).
The important thing, take time to get down at their level and play with them. Don't feel guilty if you don't want to play Star Wars or whatever it is they want to play. Maybe Star Wars is something only daddy plays. Rather, offer up a fun suggestion, have a patient and happy attitude, and they will love anything you give them. They just want to be given your time and attention. Do give their ideas a chance from time to time. But if playing "guys" is less your thing, but baking cookies, coloring pictures, reading books, organizing their bedroom, or playing a board game is your thing - then do that. The important thing is to give yourself to them, for small amounts of time, many times a day, in many different ways.
How did you fill their cup today?