When they are young, many kids scoff at the notion that Mom and Dad are not their full time playmates. It can be heartrending to hear your child scream for your attention. However, learning to play alone is of the utmost importance to your child's intellectual development.
Below are seven reasons why playing alone is good for children.
As social as the human race may be, it is unrealistic for children to expect to be the center of someone else's attention 24/7. Therefore, they should learn how to keep themselves happy when no one else is around. Once they master this skill, you'll likely find that they become more confident individuals whether others are around or not. The idea that children shy away from others once they can play on their own is a myth. Instead, kids just become better able to adapt to any situation that may arise.
As imaginative as you may believe your child already is, solo play will increase it exponentially. Time alone forces children to think about what they want to do, bringing out playtime scenarios that would never have come out otherwise. The process also helps them learn how to think on their feet and be creative too.
Playing outside encourages children to get wound up, while playing with others leads to a great deal of stimulation. Playing alone promotes a sense of calmness as they play with their toys in peace. While some excitement is a good thing, it is also good for kids to relax occasionally.
Encouraging Problem Solving Skills
Children want and need to know that adults will be there for them when they need us. This will never change. However, independent play teaches them how to act as their own problem solvers as well. In so doing, they also learn more about their emotions, making them better at helping you help them when they have a problem that cannot be solved alone.
Sometimes you do not have the time to be with your kids. You have chores to do, meals to prepare, and a job, after all. Young children cannot grasp this, however, and take it as a personal affront you are not playing with them when you are legitimately busy. As your child learns to play alone, they learn to empathize more with your situation. They understand that you have things you need to do and like your alone time, and soon come to appreciate their own responsibilities and alone time as well.
Promoting School Readiness
When your child goes to school for the first time, you will not go with them everyday. Teaching your child how to be alone now makes them better able to adapt to this situation when the time inevitably comes. The alternative is a crisis where your child is alone for the first time while simultaneously surrounded by strangers. The first day of school is not likely to end well if it starts like that.
Giving Yourself A Break
Of course it is mostly about the kids, but you know that you wouldn't mind a little downtime either. Downtime helps you relax and makes time spent with your little one more valuable than it would be otherwise. It also sets an example for your kids to follow on how to properly handle alone time.
In conclusion, kids should learn how to play independently at an early age. Not only will the experience help them prepare for school, but it also encourages your child to be comfortable in a wide range of possible social situations.