Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Parent to Parent: Playdate
It seems as soon as a baby is born, parents enroll them in a long list of activities...Everything from music and art to swim classes. But what about the days of good ole' playtime? In tonight's parent to parent, we found basic child's play can actually do a lot for your little one.
WSVN--Meet members of the Moms Club of Fort Lauderdale. These children and their parents may look like they're just playing, but they're doing much more than that...They're building social skills.
Parent Kitty Barrane: "He loves it, I mean this morning I told him I was coming to a playdate and he immediately lit up."
Parent Shannon Groves: "I'm out of the house, I'm enjoying the interaction with the other moms, and watching my children interact too."
Now, these are not your normal playdates like when we were kids. Here, children aren't just learning how to work together. They're learning how to build relationships with their elders.
7 Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "The playdate pretty much substitutes for the old days of having aunts, uncles and cousins around you. These are very secure relationships."
Plus, it gives parents a chance to meet other adults.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "It helps me because I know that in a bind, that I've got 15 women that I can call and say, hey I really need your help and they're going to be there for me."
If you're planning on joining or hosting a playdate, Dr. Sally says preparation is key. Explain to your child how many people will be at the playdate, what they'll be doing, and what's considered playdate etiquette -- like sharing.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "A good way to prepare your child is to talk about the particular manners that you expect to see when your child gets there."
Also make sure there are plenty of hands-on, interactive activities.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "The kinds of activities to set up for children are open-ended, they're things that do not finish quickly, an example would be a block area."
And use the playdate to introduce the basics like colors, letters, numbers, and shapes. But don't forget snack time and don't forget to try to learn new parenting skills.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "The big picture is that relationships are forming, and relationships are the most important concepts that anyone can experience in their lives."
Members of this moms club know their child's play is changing dynamics now and in the future.
Shannon Groves: "He actually cries when we pull up into the driveway of our house, he says he doesn't want to go home."
Kitty Barrane: "I will be doing this till this one's probably 3 or 4 years old."
Playdates should also include activities that stimulate creativity, like playing dress up.
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DR. SALLY GOLDBERG'S WEBSITE:
MOMS CLUB OF FORT LAUDERDALE: