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Playing With Your Children
Old 10-27-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
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Playing With Your Children

The other day some expert was spouting off about today's parents being so busy that they don't have time to play with their children.

I never played with my parents. I played with my friends or other family member's children.

Maybe my family was the exception but I don't remember any parents doing more than the dad playing catch with his kid (read boy).

They certainly took them to organized sports, but that was about it.

Are the 2000's that much different than the 1950's?

boont
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-27-2006, 10:45 PM   #2
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I was born and raised on an isolated ranch. I either played with my younger brother or worked my arse off with chores, and other ranching/farming opreations.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-27-2006, 10:51 PM   #3
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Parents high quality interaction with their children is extremely important to all areas of development of the child. I wasn't born until 1984 so it's hard for me to compare and contrast the amount of interaction or type, but in the 2000's there are many more dual income families which cuts into interaction time that parents can spend with children.

As a child growing up in the 1990's I spent the occasional night playing board/word games with my family. Although most of my time was spent with my friends though, I know my parents were always willing to play games as they enjoyed them too. For what it's worth, my mom worked part time as a teacher when I was a child.

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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 01:54 AM   #4
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Quote:
Originally Posted by boont
The other day some expert was spouting off about today's parents being so busy that they don't have time to play with their children.
Labor surveys have shown that parents spend less total time with their kids today, but more of that time is spent playing.

When parents showed up on the scene I don't remember thinking "Oh, goody, playtime!" The response was more like "Uh, oh, chores-- run for it!!"
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 04:59 AM   #5
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Playing catch, cards, and the occasional game of Monopoly (oh yeah, and kick-the-can when we were on vacation) was the extent of my playing with my parents back in the 60's.

I do about the same with my kids now, but I spend a lot of time helping with homework and coaching soccer and baseball.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 05:13 AM   #6
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Tempted to write an essay here. Will try to keep it brief.

First wife (during my workaholic years) thought our kids got short changed in this department. I never agreed and doubt the kids would if asked.

As for me, I always thought my folks did just fine. My Dad frequently took
me hunting and fishing, and when he was not available I went on similar adventures with my maternal grandfather. Just the other day I took
a pretty extensive on-line survey about my family life growing up.
Scored 100% on all positive issues (parental interaction/support/etc).
My entire childhood seems positvely idyllic, right up until puberty
anyway.

JG
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 07:08 AM   #7
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Re: Playing With Your Children

My parents didn't "Play" with us but they did take us places to do things and were always available for anything we wanted to do. We spent weekends at horse shows or at my grandparents camp water sking. Dad would take us deep sea fishing any time we wanted. We went to carnivals and local fairs, or down to the local ice cream stand for a sundae. Yea we sat and watched movies together like Sat afternoon watching Godzilla eat Japan. We played a lot with our friends but our house was always the place friends could gather. Dad would plow up a big pile of snow for a slide every winter, he didn't use it but he made it for us to have fun.

When I see parents today it seems like they are isolated and have to make play dates or the kids are involved in some kind of sport. It just seems different to me today than when I was a kid in the 50's-60's. I don't see kids playing like we did, it all seems so organized and antiseptic.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 09:55 AM   #8
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Don't forget the earlier years. I'm sure that all of you played with your kids lots when they were between 1 and 5 years old. Roughhousing, horsie rides, building play houses with chairs, pay back the loan game, pulling them in the wagon, etc.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 11:47 AM   #9
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I read stories to my kids every night when they were young.

The best part came afterward with my telling "the continuing excellent adventures of a make-believe family and their 2 cats".

I really stretched it and I can still see their wide eyes as we tumbled from one escapade to another.

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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 01:43 PM   #10
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I don't remember playing anything with either of my parents. However, my dad was gone most of my life and my mother did not have time to play since she was the one responsible for taking care of us 5 children.

I went to live with my aunt and uncle at age 11. I can remember playing different board games (chinese checkers, checkers, sorry, trouble etc), card games, ice skating once, swimming, playing baseball, sled riding in the winter. My good childhood memories are from 11 years old until about 15 1/2 years old, which is when I started working.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 03:31 PM   #11
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Don't forget the earlier years. I'm sure that all of you played with your kids lots when they were between 1 and 5 years old. Roughhousing, horsie rides, building play houses with chairs, pay back the loan game, pulling them in the wagon, etc.
"pay back the loan game"? You're still playing that one, huh?
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 03:41 PM   #12
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Quote:
pay back the loan game
Justin, you beat me to it...!

Seriously: my mom did play with us a bit; my dad, rarely if ever. That said, we didn't look to our parents to be 'playmates'.

I know 'quality time' is important, but the actual quality of that time is anyone's guess.. I don't think either kids or parents are always able to assess beforehand what the positive contributing factors are: on the floor playing with Barbie dolls or filling out paperwork and ranting about Blue Cross and taxes within earshot? Tough call!
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 04:51 PM   #13
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I was an only child raised by a single mom. I don't remember ever "playing" with her.

My two kids on the other hand expect my wife and I to play with them constantly! We're always facetiously reminding them that our parents never played with us.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 10:26 PM   #14
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I never played with my parents in the 60s and 70s.

I play with my kids all the time. As for taking them to organized sports, I coach their organized sports teams at their request, so I am playing with them alot.

I don't think things have changed as I remember mine friends' parents being around for various "play" activities, just not my parents. It's clear to me that some of the parents of my teams do not interact with their kids at all.

So I think it all depends on the family.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-28-2006, 10:34 PM   #15
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I've been reading to my kids every night I'm home for the past 16 years, but I don't call that play. My oldest is 18 and my youngest is 11. Now I read Harry Potter and Redwall and Treasure Island-type books with the 11-year-old. Great quality time! Sometimes I wake up on his bed at 1am with him asleep next to me and the book lying open on my chest.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-29-2006, 02:23 PM   #16
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Does helping DS, a high school senior, with homework count as playing?
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-30-2006, 09:39 AM   #17
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Re: Playing With Your Children

I play with my kids literally every night............DW does too..........

We even have "game nights" where each family member gets to pick the games, and take turn every week.

Of course, they are 7 and 4, so I'm sure that things will change over time.

Oh yeah, and we don't have cable TV, so I guess we are raising them like Leave it to Beaver...............
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-30-2006, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: Playing With Your Children

My father couldn't stand my mother so he was either gone on business or working his side job. My mother would play games with us every once in a while, when my father was out of town and her boyfriend couldn't come over. That didn't happen often and normally me and my sister would be outside playing with our friends. After they divorced and my father remarried, my father would take me fishing or hunting when I was older, but that about sums up the playing with parents.

As far as my kid goes. We play some games with him, but we remind him we are not his playmates, if he wants to play with someone go outside and make friends. If he had his choice he would stay inside and play video games all day. One of the reasons I got out of the military was to allow him to make and have friends for his entire childhood, that neither me nor his mom were able to have.
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-31-2006, 09:25 AM   #19
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Mostly my brother and sisters and I played with each other, or other kids in the neighborhood. But I do have some fond memories of playing tag football with my father, or playing "around" him while he worked (e.g. jumping in an autumn leaf pile as he raked them up!).
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Re: Playing With Your Children
Old 10-31-2006, 10:24 AM   #20
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Re: Playing With Your Children

Be careful about how narrowly you define play. My mother and father did some traditional "playing" with the kids, mainly games; cards and board games. However, most of the time they spent playing with us was spend canoing, camping, hiking, backpacking, shooting and mountaineering. It seems we spend every other weekend and three or four weeks in the summer doing this. If you think this is not playing, you need to get a life. This is how I play with my son whenever possible (I have added kayking), and it makes me sad that mom and dad are no longer able to play this way.
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