Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Entertaining the kids


I was talking to a friend last week. It was just after the thanks giving holidays. We spoke about how we spent the holidays, the thanksgiving shopping, family time etc. Of all the things he said, one really struck my mind. When speaking about how he and his family spent the holidays, he ended a sentence with “……we were home for the rest of the day, entertaining our kids”.  I had not asked him what he meant by “entertaining kids”, but that sentence had been at the back of my mind since then. I thought about this several times though not really focusing on it. My thoughts had been mostly on the lines of - What does entertaining kids mean? How do we really entertain kids? How do I know if the kids were entertained? Etc.

I was at the bus stop with my daughter this morning. My daughter was telling me about a game she learnt at school and wanted me to play with her as we waited for the bus. She explained me the rules the first time but I did not understand. She explained the rules the second time but I still could not catch it all. Before starting to explain the third time she said, “oh papa, you should come to my school and see my friends and I play this game”.  THAT WAS IT! That sentence of Akshara struck the right cord in my head. It filled the missing piece of the thought I had at the back of my mind since last week – “entertaining kids”.

The school bus arrived in the meanwhile and I bid goodbye to Akshara and started towards my house. My mind raced to process the new found data; the missing link of my puzzle. Akshara’s comment had provided that missing link.

How do you entertain the kids? Be a kid.

Wasn’t it obvious? Every parent knows that cartoons, video games, TV… can keep the kids occupied only for some time. Once the show ends, the real show begins, for the parents. The parents now need to find something else to keep the kids occupied. Instead of the TV, take the kids to a playground where there are other kids playing. That will be a whole different show. That show never stops.  Parents have to literally beg the kids to stop playing and come back home. Because the entertainment there is not cartoons or video games; it’s the kids. Kids are the kid’s best entertainers. If you really want to entertain the kids, be a kid. Keep the logic out and play the games they play. Play as a kid.

‘Entertaining kids’; it’s not easy. This is the toughest part of parenting. As a parent, I have experienced this first hand for a long time. But until today, I had never thought of this so much. With what I put together in my head today, this sentence means much more to me now. ‘Entertaining kids’ has found a special respect in my heart.

 
~Narendra V Joshi

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