Play With Your Children

When a woman gives birth to a baby, parents are made. It is their responsibility to care for and teach that tiny human how to be a decent, well rounded person.

Playing with your children is a great way to teach while having lots of fun. Your children don’t even realise they are learning.

Playing soccer, catch, bike riding, board games, all have rules. As children grow the rules apply more and more. Soccer has rules even in a family or neighborhood setting. Yes, I know the offside rule. Bike riding involves safety and looking after the bike.

As a family, you will need to adjust the informality of games so that by the time your children reach school they can handle being on the side that loses. But games teach about life too, and give many opportunities to talk about what is fair and unfair, kind and unkind, sportsmanship and gamesmanship.

Just playing catch is great fun, especially if you have a dog. Your dog will want to catch that ball and retrieve it if it is dropped.

When children see their Dad having fun, and Mom too, they realize that grown ups can be great company and being adult is not necessarily boring. When the neighbors join in relationships are bonded. Trust is built, and happy times shared.

Yesterday, I walked a tree-lined path and met a man holding his nine week old daughter. She was gazing at the light through the branches and leaves. I could see a love of nature growing in that baby girl. That her Dad had lifted her from her pram to cuddle her as she wondered touched my heart.

My own daughter used to crouch and watch insects in the grass. She did this for long periods. I rarely interrupted as I wanted her curiosity to be satisfied.

Children are sore losers. They can’t help it. A parent can gently show how to be magnanimous in defeat as well as victory. As Brian O’Driscoll ( Ireland Rugby Captain for many years)once said, “I didn’t mind that he took me out, that’s his job. I do mind that he didn’t make sure I was OK”.

So games of all sorts teach our children. They love to have Dad rooting for them, coaching, teaching skills. Driving them to games and matches when it’s possible.

If you are a Dad with a disability, don’t worry. Just show up. Your children’s friends parents will pick up the slack. (I don’t mean that in derogatory terms.) Hopefully, other parents will fill in where you are unable. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.

Let there be more laughter than tears. More squeals of delight than disappointments. Keep being there. Be fair. Do no favorites. Laugh with your children above all else, and be sensitive to their individuality.

Published by The Good Men Project

By Chrisssie Morris Brady

I've read poetry since I was nine and have written creatively since I was fourteen (probably long before that). After writing book reviews and social comment, I decided I wanted to write poetry. I have no formal training, but I surround myself with poets and their writing. I am honing my craft.
I have two published collections which I don't feel good about, but have been published by and other publications. I live on the south coast of England with my daughter. I am seriously ill.

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