Teaching Kids to Entertain Themselves
When it comes to parenting, it is no secret that kids take up a lot of your time. It is also well known that the younger they are, the more attention they require. This equates to you having a harder time getting chores, work, and other necessary things around the house completed efficiently. If you are having trouble keeping your kid entertained and really want to stay away from plopping them in front of a TV so you can fulfill your daily tasks, try these easy and valuable tips to get started and finally gain both your hands back.
Start and End the Day with Attention
Kids need your attention and require a certain level of it. In order to give them that while still carving out time for yourself, get into a routine of spending one-on-one time with them each morning and afternoon. It can be just 30 minutes, or longer if you wish, where you play games, read, etc. to fulfill their attention cravings. If they understand that they will get this time each day, they will be much more willing to let you be when you are working or doing other chores because they know that they will be getting you later.
Get Them Started
If your child is on the younger side, they may need some assistance and inspiration in getting started with their independent play. For example, if your kid wants to play with playdough, get them set up and show them different things they can do with it. Once they got the idea, let them take off on their own and utilize their imagination while you start doing other things. Remember, once they are in that mindset, do not interrupt them and try to stay out of the way as much as possible, but nearby if they need you.
If, after 20 minutes of entertaining themselves, they come looking to you because they got bored, do not respond immediately and drop everything you are doing. Do not ignore them, but let them know that they need to wait a moment so you can finish up something before you can stop. Kids can be impatient, but with practice and knowing that you will get to them when you can will teach them that your time is valuable too. It can also promote an increase in solo entertainment time because they know you are busy and would rather play alone than wait by your hip until you are done.
Additional Things You Can Do
There are many techniques you can do, and some more that you can try include:
- Showing them how it is done and leading by example. You can do this by reading or doing a craft that you enjoy.
- Create a space for your kid that they can go and play when they wish on their own.
- Have them help you with chores, but in a different room. For instance, ask them to clean their room while you clean yours.
Let’s face it; it is not exactly easy to vacuum, cook, or work from home with a kid constantly pulling at your leg for you to play with them. Though there may be days where you can drop your chores and engage, other times it might not be so easy to do. This is why teaching your kids how to entertain themselves is vital to keep them stimulated while you start and finish your tasks. Save yourself the frustration and feeling like you are being torn in a magnitude of directions, and try these tips out so you can run a much smoother and enjoyable household.