So I may have commented a time or two in previous posts that…

I HATE playing.

Ok…hold on…

Hate is a strong word.

I really want to like it, but for some reason, I cannot.

I cringe when my kids ask me to play.

It is like nails on a chalkboard.

But when I lay my head down at night, I feel so guilty.

I should really want to sit and play with my babies.

One day soon, they’re not going to want to play with me anymore!

They’ll be grown up!

Toys will be packed away…

And they’ll hate my guts (because just about every older kid/teen goes through that phase!)

I knew that I needed to change myself before it was too late!

So, here’s what I did…

And, if you dislike playing, maybe these tips will help you, too!

What Do YOU Like to Play?

Think about the games or activities that you do like to play!

If you got to pick the game, what would it be?

Would it be Doctor, because you get to lay on the couch while the kids do most of the playing?

Is it coloring, because you can sit on the floor the whole time and zone a bit in your own coloring world?

Would it be Dress Up; because you get to go through your closet and pass off old clothes to the kids to play with while cleaning it out at the same time?

What is it that YOU like to play?

Think about that.

Make a list on paper or your phone so that it is easily accessible when your child says, “Hey, mommy! Come play with me!”

This way, when you get to pick the game, you know that it will be an activity that you like, too!

For some young, toddler play ideas, click here!

Give Choices from Your List

When your child asks you to play, you can agree to.



Because now you have a trick up your sleeve!

You can pick two favorites from your list and let your child pick from the two.

You can say:

“Mama is really in the mood to either color or play dress up. Which one would you like to do?”

When your child picks one, you’ll be more likely to happily play!

And when you can sit and play without dread, well, you can enjoy that time more with your child!

Limit Your Play Time

That may sound mean, but reality calls!

If you are like me, I cannot sit and play for too long.

I can usually handle about 20-30 minutes of play and then I am done.

I start to get crabby.

And you don’t want to be a crab while playing with your child!

It is not fair to him or her!

Then you may walk away from the play session feeling super guilty.

So, I always give an excuse:

“Mama will play for a half hour and then I have to finish the dishes.”


“Mama will play for a half hour and then I am going to make you dinner.”

The kids are usually just excited that I am coming over to play!

Then, I set a timer.





Then say, “I set a timer for 30 minutes, so when it goes off, mama has to go back to work.”

If you don’t set a timer, your child may whine when you try to escape the play scene.

Then you may feel guilty.


And before you know it, an hour and a half has gone by and you’re still playing!

So set a timer so that the kids and you are aware of the limit on the play session.

Then always let them know that you’ll be back to play more in a little bit.

Eat a Snack While Playing

I wonder if there is any other parent out there who does this…

But I start to fall asleep when I am playing with my kids.

I don’t know why.

Does this happen to anyone else?

I find that it helps if I eat a little snack while I play with my kids.

Cut up some apple slices and share with your little one while you play.

At least, make it available to all of you. during your play.

That way, you can quickly swoop in and grab a piece when you feel you need a pick-me-up during your time together!

It may even help if you start to get a little bored with the activity that you are doing.

Must be something about snacking that helps get through a challenging moment!

Write Down the Moments

At the end of the day, my children and I have a special tradition.

Before we go to bed, we write down our favorite part about our day in a notebook.

I do the writing while they tell me what they loved most about the day.

I write down my favorite part about the day, as well.

And guess what?!

Now, it is usually something that we played together!

What is so special about that is that when I read back on our journal, I can remember the special little times that we spent together.

I keep it in a safe place so that we can read about our days with one another for years to come!


Go back through your list from time to time and reevaluate your game and activity choices.

This is important to do if you find yourself getting crabby and irritated during playtime with your child.

Perhaps, deep down, you are tired of coloring, even though that was something that you enjoyed doing before.

Or maybe you discovered that laying on the couch while playing doctor makes you tired for the rest of the day.

Listen to yourself and make certain to reevaluate your activity choices.

This way, you will remain in a good mood whenever it is time to play!

You Are a Super Cool Parent!

When you can engage with your child on their level – which is often times through play –


You become a super cool parent!

And super cool parents rock!

So, if you dread playing, just remember to make a list of the activities that you like to do.

Give your child a choice from the list.

Limit how long you are able to play for by setting a timer and giving reminders.

Enjoy a snack during the activity to keep your energy up!

And always make certain to find a way to remember these little moments!

Because they are so special.

And you won’t get a chance to play with your child like this again!

So, take it in as much as you can.



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