Don’t Judge Me for Not Entertaining My Kids

Don’t judge me. I have never made up an activity for my kids. We have never finger painted, or gathered leaves for an art project, or made molecules out of marshmallows. I have never searched online for a new game for a rainy afternoon. My boys have never asked me to entertain them. 

When I had my first son over six years ago, Pinterest really wasn’t much of a thing yet. Maybe it existed. Maybe I knew what it was. But it didn’t have the social impact it currently has on mothers. Social media in general just wasn’t what it is today. I didn’t feel like I was in competition with every other mom in town. I didn’t post photos of my baby’s daily activities anywhere. I didn’t even think that was a thing! 

Today, I feel like every mom is talking about what new activity they did with their toddler. “We baked. We made this picture. We time traveled. We patched the roof.” Whatever. But the point is, they entertain their kids all.day.long. And that’s OK for some people. But that’s not us. 

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I do not entertain my children. That’s not my job. I raise my children. I teach them. I feed them. I discipline them. But do you know that my kids have never told me they are bored? They have Legos and Magformers, about 200 Matchbox cars, a little train set and a few trucks. We have a little yard with some shovels and they each have a bike. They talk to our neighbors and even offer to do the dishes on occasion. They aren’t bored. They use their imagination and play together every single day. 

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I do not entertain my children. They are not bored. They are creative all on their own. Don’t get me wrong, they like it when I play with them. They involve me in some of their make-believe. But they don’t wait for me to start an activity. When they wake each morning, they grab a truck or two from the playroom and make up games in their bedroom until breakfast time. They play pretend all day. They race their bikes and scooters down the road and dig in the dirt, and they fill buckets with water for a car wash. They end each day dirty and exhausted. And I love that. I can clean my house, feed my baby, cook meals, and take a shower. Because I do not entertain my children. 

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My encouragement to you… Spend the day not giving your kids activities. It’s amazing what they can come up with all on their own with nothing but some blocks and a truck to knock them over. All of a sudden, they have a whole world of things to do, not just what you put in front of them at the table. 

3 Responses to Don’t Judge Me for Not Entertaining My Kids

  1. Kate S. December 22, 2016 at 1:49 am #

    I think this article is terrible. It’s so extreme. I finger paint with my son. I pull out puzzles. I challenge him to learn more, to challenge himself. This sounds like lazy parenting. Parents are called to teach and raise our children. What is the moral of this story? Be a absent parent?

    • Samantha
      Samantha December 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

      Thank you for your feedback. Perhaps I can work on this idea more and present a little more clearly in the future.

  2. Rachael Black December 28, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    I like the concept of self-guided play or independent play, but I have one child and she’s two. Freshly turned two. She does play alone for short bursts but she needs a buddy to play with. I enjoyed this article because it’s a good reminder to encourage our child(ren) to use their imaginations and to be creative in their play. It also sounds like a dream (a good one!) to have time to shower outside of her nap time, to clean the house before 7pm, and to be able to do my things throughout the day. I think it’s helpful to have two boys, seemingly close in age, because they’re playing together. Each is fulfilling the role that they would ask of a parent if the other child was not there.

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