As I sit back and reflect on both my boys, I can now see and admit that on many occasions, I would find myself getting quite frustrated whilst playing with my oldest son.
I felt that he always wanted and needed someone to play with him. Now I look back I realise that this was not really his fault.
He was unable to play independently because I never taught him or allowed him to play alone.
From day one I was constantly by his side and always played with him so he knew no different. If not me, than his Daddy or another family member would be entertaining him.
So to him that was the norm and unfortunately for him he was unaware of how to sit alone and play independently.
Only once his younger brother was born did he slowly have to learn how to play by himself and as he grows older I can see the more he plays independently the more imaginative and creative he becomes.
With my second son I wanted to make sure I encouraged independent play from the very beginning.
There are times when we play together but now that I realise the importance of free independent play, I consciously try to set some time aside for him to play by himself.
Sometimes he likes to play with his brother but there are also times when he just prefers to sit and play alone.
They say that independent play and a certain amount of alone time, encourages children to be more creative and play confidently.
Today our holidays begin and in the next few weeks we will have even more time to explore and play, be it independently or all together.
At this stage they say; “play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers.