Should parents be their only child's playmate?

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Should parents be their only child's playmate?

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I think that sometimes parents appoint themselves their child´s playmate instead of bringing peers into the house. And I think it is important to have everything in your family. I think it is important to play with your kid but it is also really important for your kid to play with other kids. I also think it is really important to be authentic to yourself as a parent, so if you are not someone who really wants to get down on the floor with your kid, I think that´s okay. And if you are someone who really is kind of the silliest person in the world and is going to make bathroom just messy, hilarious, hour-long fun, that´s great, too. I think we should not second guess ourselves so much and that we have a good notion of what good parenting is that isn´t always the most fluid thing. And it has got to make sense for our own personalities and our own interests and our own family. And I think you really need to listen to yourself and also listen to your kid. If your kid is happy reading all day, that´s okay. You shouldn´t be forcing play. But if your kid wants to put on a costume and run around the yard for an hour and you are up for that, go for it. Just make sure that sometimes there is another kid there too doing it.

View Lauren Sandler, MA's video on Should parents be their only child's playmate?...

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Lauren Sandler, MA

Journalist & Author

Lauren Sandler is the author of One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One, and a journalist who writes on cultural politics and gender issues for publications like Time, The New York Times, and Slate. And she’s as an only child and the mother of one herself. 

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