One of the perks of motherhood, I must say, is playtime with your little one. You get to know your child. An afternoon on the floor surrounded by Duplos or Legos is not my idea of a perfect playdate. I love checking out all the new restaurants in town, and trying new foods with the kids. But there have been valuable lessons learned from these playdates. Honesty, I am a fan of outdoor play and will cheer you on for a game of tennis or even a run around the playground. There are indoor games, and the COVID world of social distancing saw all of us doing more of that for a while.
Here is how it all started. I was, sitting on the floor with Duplos and my daughter, watching imagination come to life as she was trying to build out a modern version of Cinderella’s castle or something of that nature. The structure came up fast as it could for a child with no hesitations about their abilities. I applauded her for her confidence; however, it came down crashing as quickly as it went up. She let out a wail, and Duplos went flying all over the place in frustration and anger. Alas, the structure had a weak foundation for the magnitude of the imagination.
I helped her take a few deep breaths and think about what had happened. All was not lost. Anything that goes down will come up again. And I am here to help. Imagine trying to give your little one a lesson in gravity. Yeah! That didn’t work out too well. I then asked if we could try again. I thought, well, two pairs of hands and two minds at work are better than one. I asked her to describe what she wanted, and we could work on it together. So, she explained the idea and discussed what could be done better this time.
We got the structure back up again, and this time with a stronger foundation.
Whew! I sure was relieved.
We may not get everything right the first time. I marveled at the lessons learned. Subtly, we had laid the foundation of the value of teamwork, leadership skills, and perseverance. I knew it was the foundation of security, self-esteem, and confidence. Most of all, my daughter appreciated my involvement, which I knew translated to say that I thought she was important enough.
I couldn’t go wrong on this. As we were driving back home a few days later, my daughter was on the phone with her aunt overseas. They were planning a game of Minecraft online. My daughter reassured her aunt that she would teach her if it were a new game for her. But, if it was something new for both of them, they could learn together.
I did a silent happy dance. It was a win-win for me, a planted seed of confidence and the value of working as a team. That’s all I needed for now until the next game of Duplo.