As I hope my ideas for dad section of the site will at some point show, I am a massive play advocate. It’s an important part of childhood, an important asset to learning and most importantly of all, play is fun.
I was however, dismayed by an article on the bbc today headlined: Child’s play not easy for modern parents, what utter bullshit. Forgive my choice of phrase but it is complete and utter bullshit, and if you believe it then please just fuck off. Playing is simple, just get on the floor and get on with it.
Sure, we all lose inspiration from time to time, or mundane parts of existence can get in the way, but good grief “Almost half of 2,000 parents questioned said they would welcome expert help on how to play” really?! EXPERT HELP!?! If you want expert help in how to play talk to a bloody child! Or even better, play with a bloody child!! Problem solved.
“Playing with your kids is just as important as any aspect of looking after the home.” Are they seriously comparing raising a child with housekeeping? Yes, we would like to live in clean tidy houses, however I sincerely hope most of you would agree that you would rather live in a slightly messy house than raise a child whom you never played with 0r who doesn’t value play?! Surely? Please?
My fondest childhood memories are from games conjured up in imagination in my garden, and of building a new den each day using cricket stumps and rugs and whatever else I could find.
I’m aware I sound quite obnoxious and that this little rant isn’t that constructive, but it makes me so mad when people over-complicate simple facets of our existence. I understand that I am luckier than alot of parents in that I work so close to home, and I get at least a few minutes to play with the bear everyday. I understand that it is tiring and hard to always be motivated to play, but what I don’t understand is why people need ‘expert advice’ for all areas of their existence?
Humanity is an amazingly adaptable species, for thousands of years we have gotten on just groovy without needing pseudo experts and quasi-scientific responses for every action or event. Trust your instincts and where possible trust your child’s instincts too. (I say where possible with regards to things like safety, important damage etc..)
The one thing I would suggest you really take away with you from that article is this “Play is one of the most simple and basic activities. If it feels good and the child enjoys it, then that’s the way to do it.”
And So, onwards and upwards and back to the National Trust. Their new campaign is lovely, there’s a site you/your child can sign up to https://www.50things.org.uk/to get your family motivated to get out doors. I haven’t joined, but I will. If you do nothing else, why not check out the parents area here. It has all the info you need on the project and gives you the full list, which includes such wonderful things as:
- Climb a tree
- Roll down a really big hill
- Build a den
- Run around in the rain
- Fly a kite
Thank you for your patience with this whinging, before I go,
1) I implore you to play more, both with your kids and for your own sanity
2) I ask you to support this National Trust campaign, lets keep play as it should be. Video games are a fun addition but shouldn’t replace getting muddyand
3) I recommend slapping the next person that spoon feeds you bullshit touted by non-descript ‘experts’
Have a fantastic weekend x