Thursday, January 3, 2013

Five Resolutions for Play in 2013

Resolution Number 1: Manage my expectations

With the holiday season directly behind us, I wanted to take a week off from showing you the latest and greatest.  Instead, I thought I'd talk about a few of the resolutions I've made for this year.  I have made lots and some have to do with weight loss but I'm sure you have read enough weight loss stories so here are some related to play:

Resolutions for 2013

  1. Realistic Play - Manage my expectations:

    I love that my children are so different and that each of them have their own little special talents.  However, I often forget that talents are raw and that their toys are tools that we use to develop them.  Sometimes, toys can look awesome but still look so hard that my child may just walk away to prevent disappointment.  As a parent, I must be patient and be aware of what is doable by himself and what is doable with me at his side (directly helping or just hanging around for moral support).

  2. Flexible Play - Stop being so damn rigid- period:
    This stuff isn't exactly good for you but I loved that he thought to do this on his own.  He also cleaned up this entire mess without my prodding.  Self-pride works wonders sometimes.

    You would think that having had restaurateurs for parents, I would be letting my children cook all the time but I'm a control freak.  I am worried about mess.  I am also tired and not wanting to supervise every little single thing.  But this year, I've promised to find a new middle ground between reducing mess and gaining control and letting my children do some cooking and creating in the kitchen.  Hopefully we'll find some toys in this department to share with you.  I think cooking is a cure for bad appetites, bad table manners, and it's also a great outlet for the scientists and artists in our children.

  3. New Play - Help my children find more ways to express themselves (their way):
    Both kids flipped when they saw this twenty-dollar tripod! they just got a new Wii game or something!

    I always talk about having them work on videos and doing different things to express their thoughts but I don't give them enough outlets to do it.  I also have to teach them how to use things appropriately so that they don't get frustrated or break stuff.  With my kids, this is no easy task but to not recognize this yearning they have for wanting to shoot their own videos, their way (not my way), is a missed opportunity.  Already since buying a tripod, my kids have made their own videos.  I love the practice in language development here.

  4. Safe Play - Get serious about internet security:

    I hate putting down passwords and codes and locks and restrictions and all of that but I've really had to this time.   These tablets are not Gameboys.  They are serious pieces of hardware that can be tremendously helpful and/or hurtful.

    I tend to worry about the wrong things.  I know that the internet can be a scary place and now that my kids both have tablets and are both using the internet more, I need to be on top of things more than ever.  My parents gave me lots of freedom when I was younger and that led to lots of good things but also to a couple of scary experiences too.  While it's not everything, there are tools out there to help us ensure our children's safety and help us control what our children experience when they go online.  I promise myself that this year, I am going to face the music and start being better in this area.   I welcome your suggestions here.- oh help!!!

  5. Family Play - Point out their best assets and teach how to enjoy them:
Number 1 Son was the first in our family to spot this frog while we were walking on a trail at Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvannia. He really does have a good eye!

Last night, my son and I ate clementines and talked about his ability to see things where others could not.  I told him that I had a similar ability when I was a kid.  I really did.  I could look at a corkboard and see a scary face!  It was so vivid that even I had to look away. It may sound silly to you but to an anxious kid, it was a horror.  I was basically scaring myself and I couldn't stop it.  I think that so many readers here have children with special gifts and so I thought I'd mention this today. Gifts are powers that need to be practiced and developed and most of all ENJOYED.  

Last night, my almost 9-year-old and I played a game of I Spy but this time, it was a very tough game where you had to spy something really hidden that only one with high visual discriminatory skills could figure out.  We had never played this game before but after I told him about my corkboard story, it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Sure enough, we both stumped each other but I have to say, I was really happy that I took the time to talk to my son about seeing images inside of things.  He spied an outline of a gobblet in a translucent cabinet window and then I really knew he understood me about the monster in the corkboard.  Hopefully he won't see any monsters and instead learn to enjoy this special little gift he has.  Given how much fun we had play Visual Discriminatory I Spy, I have to say, that perhaps the best toys for children today will always be in their own minds (with a bit of guidance from their parents).

I never played I SPY with him this way.   Does anyone else play this way?  Does everyone else do it like this and I just didn't know?  Now I Spy is fun!

Happy New Year Everyone.  

I'll announce which toy/game won the honor of being the READERS' FAVORITE.


1 comment:

  1. Jenn, this sounds like an awesome list from a pretty awesome mom! I just found your site and blog and can't wait to dive into your toy reviews! Never even heard of Cuba before and I work with children on vision! Thanks!