Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guest Post: PLAY DATES

Today I am featuring a  guest post from my new blog friend Renee Arbia.

Renee Arbia runs a new parenting blog called Next Generation Stay At Home Mom. She has a one year old son who's name is Xavier and she writes some fun and inspiring stories about their everyday lives as well as some great recipes and product reviews. 
Enjoy her great insights!

Play Dates
    When you have a child you suddenly are thrown into a new and very odd social circle. Suddenly you are considered a "Parent". That means that you are invited to a lof of "extra" social events in your life, such as children's birthday parties, the PTA, Girl/Boy Scouts, sports activities, arts activities and when you have a little one a play date!

     I was very fortunate to have a couple of play dates on our schedule for the same week. Which really got me thinking about this whole play date idea! First of all, how long have these things been around? Did they do this in medieval times too? Did women get together with their babies and see if they got along to be friends? Or is this a modern day thing? Did we suddenly realize that we are a society who's lives revolve around electronics and we are going to turn into robots if we don't seek human interaction in the form of a play date? I have to admit I think it is a modern thing, only because I do not remember many other generations talking about where they met their friends or what they did with their babies.
     I do love the idea of play dates. If you are not sure what a play date is, it is when a parent and another parent get together for a few hours during an afternoon or evening with their children (usually around the same age) and hang out so that their children get socialization and so that they are learning how to share and have fun with a friend. 
   Play dates have been really great for Xavier and I. He has made a lot of friends and I enjoy seeing each child evolve and change in their own special way. You can see little personalities really developing. 
    Parents can learn a lot from play dates. Play dates can bring together many different walks of life. By opening ourselves up to the new people and situations, we are teaching our children to see the good in others and learn different ways of doing things.  We learn to empower our kids not have them knock each other down. 
   You also learn tolerance from play dates. You learn that it is alright if they fight over a toy because they need to learn to share sooner or later. You know it is perfectly normal if they all develop differently because each child really is their own unique individual. 
  Best of all and my personal favorite lesson from play dates is playing through imagination. How many times do we as adults really use our imagination? Imagination is a very powerful thing. It has the ability to evoke emotions from you. When you watch your child do imaginative play they are emotionally engrossed in what they are playing. They feel as if they are really doing what they are imagining. Imaginations are very strong in children.

     It is fun to watch children on play dates playing with new toys and new friends. Seeing what they get excited about, how they react to different things. You are watching your child navigate their way through their beginnings of life. There is no greater gift in the world.  I am very fortunate that I have discovered the wonderful joy of a play date!

Renee Arbia
Next Generation Stay At Home Mom
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