Play with Me, Mommy!

Whether you work at home or just stay home with the kids, this is a request that is hard to ignore, but it always seems to come when you have to get something done. It's hard to get dinner done or customer taken care of when your children want you. It's time to plan and set up rules.

If you're cooking, and your child is too young to help, you need to find some way to keep them distracted. Having a cabinet that they are allowed to play in helps, although it won't always solve the problem. You have to decide whether to block off the kitchen when you are cooking or find a more effective way to distract a clinging child. If possible, have a special toy that your child can use when you just can't stop to play with them. You are best off if you can set up rules when your child is young, so they get used to them easily and with minimal protest.

When you have to work, it may be helpful to set up a "work desk" for your child if he or she is old enough to enjoy it. A small table with a toy telephone, paper, crayons or markers will help your child imagine that they are working just like you.

There is, of course, always the TV option, although I have often found it to be only minimally effective. If your child loves a particular video, save it for when you need some time to get things done. I don't recommend using the TV as a babysitter, but there are times when that is your best option.

Make sure you do leave plenty of time to be with your child, not only to play, but to teach them. As your child gets older, make sure they learn to do appropriate chores around the house. Young children often love to help, and quality time is not only playtime.


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Copyright © 2003-2019 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated


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