John Cowan - Playful Parenting

Publish Date
Thursday, 26 October 2017, 11:10AM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

By John Cowan

In an earlier lifetime, I used to be a photographer. Here's a tip, if you want to get some great photos of your kids, get down on their level, where they're at. And if you want to have some great play times with your kids you have to get down on their level as well. Forget your creaky knees and the fact that you're an adult, if you want to get ` into game mode — it happens down on the floor. Not only do you drop down to their level, you" _ drop into their world. Kids have wonderful imaginations, and you need to enter their world, enter the game that they're playing. That carton over there isn’t just a carton - it's a castle. So you need to ask them questions like - "Is that a dragon over there?" or "How does that truck work?"

If you are going to take the effort of getting way down onto the floor, make sure you’ve got a decent amount of time, so can I suggest that you set aside a block of play time with your child? You can use the timer on the stove, so you can say things like, "When this timer goes off, I’m going to have a play time with you, so you go and get the play things ready." Or perhaps you could say, "When that video finishes, let's have some play time together." You could also use the timer on the stove to let you both know when playtime is over so that there’s no misunderstanding or arguments about that.

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About John

John has been with The Parenting Place ( for seventeen years as their senior writer and presenter.  He had various roles working with youth and families prior to that but actually started his working life as a scientist in neurophysiology at Auckland Hospital.  As well as writing and speaking, John is frequently on radio and television.

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