Wednesday, July 22, 2009


In one of my Child Development classes, we discussed personality traits and temperaments in children. This topic is fascinating to me now that I have a second child who is the polar opposite of my first. I remember reading about some children who are "slow to warm up" and others who are more "spirited". I happen to have one of each. So, in other words, I have a shy kid and a wild kid. :)

When it comes to downtime around the house, my shy child requires every ounce of my attention. Whereas, my wild one wants nothing to do with me. She only comes to me in order to fill a basic need like eating or sleeping. I literally have to remind myself to go sit with her or read to her. On the other hand, I feel like I give my shy child way too much one-on-one attention.

I did some research about how much time is appropriate for parent playtime. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids. But how much time should one mom spend trying on crowns or "cooking" for the animals at the circus? The consensus seems to be that approximately three 20 minute sessions a day is adequate. This doesn't seem like much to me, but the research said that the MAJORITY of families spend only minutes with their children each day on a one-to-one basis. Yikes! On the other hand, researchers stated that children who spent too much time playing with adults were severely dependent and had trouble playing with children their own age.

How much time do you spend on the floor playing with your kids? What do you think about the 3 20-minute sessions idea? Do you feel we should gauge the length of active parent playtime to the child's personality type? I'd love to hear your feedback...

This is a great article about parenting kids who are "slow to warm up".


  1. I know for a fact I do not get around to three 20 minute playtime sessions. I really don't think my kids would enjoy playing with me for that long either! I guess it depends on the child and his age. When my kids were younger, I spent much more time playing with them. Interesting topic! I'm curious about what other parents do.

  2. I play with my daughter MUCH more than that. She's an only child and I'm a stay at home mom so I guess that's why. I'm sure once I have more kids I'll be too busy for that much playtime. I enjoy it as well but sometimes I'm eager for some adult interaction. My daughter is very dependent but she also plays really well with other kids of all ages.