'Entertain Me Parenting' VS 'Spontaneous Unstructured Fun'

 outdoorsplay time

I am no craft Savvy guru and can barely work a glue gun... Yet I believe in being a 'hands on mommy', growing creative kids, & crafting timeless memories. I am not one sold to ‘Entertain Me’ parenting, & by this term I am referring to parents living under a misconception that kids need constant entertainment, being 'over stimulated' by gadgets or parents alike. I believe in a balance  which includes planned activities and unstructured play. Are you a parent that feels hideously guilty that you cannot find time to balance your lifestyle and entertain your kid’s enthusiastically? We have all been there and I urge you not to kick yourself for that. After all we have relationships to nurture, a home to keep up and career to pursue. There are many simple ways you can engage with your kids authentically and not pretend on being a crafty Martha Steward that you’re not.

Technology is an excellent source of entertainment and a wellspring of education for the kids.  But it could also pose the risk of turning your children into digital zombies and curbing their social skills. I am not one of those moms who squeal out an irrefutable ‘NO’ to digital devices. I believe they are a good source of entertainment as long as I am monitoring for quality programming and limiting the screen time. Honestly, this is one of my greatest struggles with my oldest and I often have to put him on ‘No Screen curfews’ and ‘Digital blackouts’. I feel like I am in the middle of a battle with my boy. It appears to me that most often he gets his way around his screen time. But the best part of limiting 'Screen Time' is that when I manage to win him over I succeed in focusing on more ‘Face Time’. We have a chat on his favorite Superhero and why he chose him. He helps me bake a bread pudding and draws out pages and pages of his favorite memories of holidaying and growing up in our home. I call this our ‘Special Fun’. We plan a few ‘Special Fun’ moments in a week. This is more structured and my boys told in advance what to expect to get the excitement going. It could be cooking together( sunday nights), Dress ups, Organized play dates, Go to the movies(saturday afternoons), Play a sport together, Make Play Dough, Paint eggs. The options are countless.

(Easter eggs painted by mommie and boys)

easter eggs easter egg

However with the many hats I wear and switch, it does not give me the luxury on being a 'Mothering Martyr'.  I remember when my boys yelled 'I am bored' i used to come under immense mommie pressure of having to organise a structured activity to keep them entertained. If I could not deliver to the expectation then I was found drooling in a whirlwind of guilt. Not any more. Oh the joys of learning as you journey on the road of parenting! I have discovered that children are better off left alone to play and to explore some unstructured activity that nurtures creativity. Now when I hear 'i am bored' i just scream back 'never in a million years'. I let them run around in the garden or explore their toys and books in their room and let them create for themselves an adventure land. I give them the opportunity to come up with spontaneous unstructured fun such as play Hide and seek, Tag, I spy, Paint a picture together, Ride their bike…

ab n nickymerav

Simplicity is one of the greatest lessons you can instil in your children. Train them while they are young to avoid associating happiness with constant accumulation and enjoyment of expensive toys, extravagant play-areas and luxurious possessions. There is always an opportunity to turn mundane into a lasting memory without having to lavish on kids financially and having to come under pressure on being  a crafty goddess. Creating a fun memory is not dependent on crafting perfection  but in the FUN PROCESS involved in creating life.