Why kids need to know how to play alone

This week in my parenting column I’m talking about that sweet P.A. life skill — Playing Alone. I have very strong feelings about this and it always shocks me when people don’t encourage, nay require, their kids to play by themselves.

Here’s a preview …

… I’m always a little surprised when I talk to parents who complain that their kids are just not very good at playing alone. “They always want me to play, too!” they moan. “They follow me the second I leave the room!” “They won’t play by themselves at all!” 

It’s kind of fascinating. Maybe some parents are teaching their kids to play alone without even realizing it? Maybe other parents are raising super-sociable kids who thrive on being around other people all of the time? Or maybe it’s really an introvert/extrovert thing? All I can say is, it must be freaking exhausting to have to entertain a child during every waking (non-screen) moment. 

As a card-carrying introvert, I fall into the parenting camp that believes playing alone is a life skill. It’s the foundation for being content with your own company! It’s when you make up little games and listen to your own thoughts! Without alone time, I would never have gotten the (awesome) idea to mix up concoctions of leaves and powder and water and cram them into my Darling Dreamer doll’s animatronic mouth …

To read the full column, pop over to the Dartmouth Tribune!

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So what do you think?

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