Learning to Play

Yesterday at the park Deeder was pushing kids out of his way up on the climbing thing–even kids who weren’t really challenging him yet. This isn’t something I want him to keep in his mind as the way to cope with annoying situations. At the same time, I don’t want to be one of those people who spend the whole of their child’s early life saying, “Hitting isn’t OK, okay? We don’t do that to our friends.”
So today I decided that I’d try to help him learn to play. :P Am I the first person to think of something so silly?

I started by dumping out a bag of mega blocks and handing him one then starting building something nearby. He gave me his piece then just sat there. He kept handing pieces back, like he was donating to the construction of my tower! Once it had reached considerable hight I pushed it towards him and said “All done!”

He smiled at me and took a swing at it with his arm. It fell over but didn’t crash down like blocks would because mega blocks link together. I stood it up again and he toppled it down again. Then I started pulling the pieces apart and setting them back on the floor.
Deeder crawled over to the bag that we keep them in, stood the bag upright (it’s one of those structured zip up bags) and took a red piece from the pile and put it in the bag.
He looked at me as if to say, “Is this right? Aren’t you going to help?”

The point was to show him how play is give and take…
But all he did then was give!

Maybe at the park yesterday he felt threatened as he did last week at Paula’s playgroup and that’s why he pushed. Perhaps that’s just how it is, at least until a child has language.

Throughout the day I brought out other sharing toys of his to practice give and take.
I guess I conclude that he’s an observer–he saw what I was doing and mirrored it as much as he could. Sadly, the same is true with negative violent-ish behaviors: he sees them and how they effectively work to stop what another kid is doing.

Just before bedtime:

Now how many kids do you know who are lucky enough to play put and take with a mom who has a camera for eyes?!

2 Responses to “Learning to Play”

  1. Wendy says:

    Lani does the same thing! We have been “playing” a lot lately. She practically picked Alex up by his hair today because she was so mad that he was using her toys! I showed her how to use nice hands, then she showed me, and proceeded to pull his hair again! I know it’s age appropriate, but I just don’t want it to be a habit.

  2. Gramma Momma says:

    It’s so unusual not seeing a daily post from you. How are you all doing?
    Mom :)

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