I think a lot of times we think “If I only had this, that, the other thing... then my child would engage with me.” The emphasis being on the ‘thing or things’ that we need to captivate our child’s interest and help them engage and connect with us.
And then sometimes we actually go out and buy that ‘other thing’... and another... and the next ... just to find ourselves back in the same boat telling ourselves the same things... “he didn’t like it”, “he’s bored”, “if only I had______,” “I don’t have the right games or activities to offer”, “my child’s not interested in______”.
Something incredibly helpful I want to share with you is this- It’s not actually about the toys, not about the things you could get for your child, and it’s not about getting more stuff to ‘get them to want to engage or show interest’. Yes of course you could get something new and they might be interested for a bit.... but then that fleeting moment passes to welcome the same old feeling of not having the ‘right things’. Hmmmm... Back at square one.
Here’s the thing....Yes those toys and new things are great, but at the heart of your child’s interest and engagement is YOU! ;-)
What’s puppet without a silly voice and some inviting gestures to make it come alive? What’s a book without an animated character and storyteller to bring it alive? What’s a wooden spoon without a person standing behind it singing their favorite song? What’s a blanket laying around without an invitation to hop inside for deep pressure or squeezes?
These are all just things laying around the house... without US, these things will continue remain ‘things’. But by using our ability to bring life to each object, we have a countless plethora of inviting activities to captivate our child!
***Not to mention we are simultaneously helping our children build the skills of looking, communicating, and wanting to connect with people. :-)
The ‘things’ are great tools but the secret is this: WE are the invitation to engage. WE are the ones we want our children to become interested in.
I encourage each of you to try clearing your minds of any naysaying...and offer yourself and all your playfulness to your child. Go ahead feel free to use anything you already have around the house, and offer an invitation to engage in a way you have never offered it before. Surprise them :-) show them you’ve got some new tricks up your sleeve... Captivate them with action and invite their interest in YOU- with your voice, your gestures, and your body movements.
Most of all have the very best time playing :-) Much love to all, xx