This morning I was doing yoga while my daughter played next to me. Usually I try to fit in living room yoga when she’s not around but sometimes you have to multitask. Anyways, I started out standing but as I worked my way to a runners lounge, plank, then downwards facing dog she started cracking up. She was twisting her head sideways and falling over laughing watching me do this. Not to mention crawling over me preventing me from getting a full work out! But who can resist they are super cute, right?!
Reasons to GET ON THE FLOOR with your child:
1. Floor time with your baby or child brings you closer. Cultivate a strong parent-child relationship early on.
In any age your child needs this daily. Babies and children need you. EVERY DAY. It can be tempting if you have an “easy” baby or an independent child to go get laundry or dinner ready or update facebook. But floor time is incredibly important for their emotional development. They are able to build trust and a closeness with you that is built by coming down to their level. Think about your child’s eye level and what they are seeing. Put yourself there. If it’s a baby its probably the floor…lay on the floor. A preschooler might be cooking “dinner” on a small table (depending on height) get on your knees or sit down so you are around the same height!
2. Build your child’s language and social skills.
Whether you have five kids, one, or fourteen you are building language skills, encouraging turn-taking and sharing, resolving conflict and improving abstract thinking skills by being on the floor with your child or children. All these things shape how we interact with people throughout the rest of our lives. Our social skills shape who we interact with, how we interact, and if we even do at all. If networking continues to be as important as it is today, think about how important social skills in our children are!
Play is a great way to introduce new signs if you are working on signing with a child. Check out ways to sign to improve early language skills in floor time.
3. Create healthy self-esteem in your child.
Strong self-esteem starts with a strong parent-child relationship. This strong relationship is created by spending time with them…on the floor, by going where they go. If they go under the table, attempt to go under the table. If anything they will laugh. By spending floor time with them they are learning early on that they are worthy of your time thus they must have worth.
4. Its about quality time AND quantity of time.
You can give 5 minutes of your undivided attention to your child, but what is that showing them? I’m only worth 5 minutes. There must be something else that is more important than me. You could be on the floor with your child for an hour but be on and off your phone. That says the same thing to your child. Something else is more important than me. Children need both quality and quantity time from you. One without the other does not work.
5. Nurturing respect for differences and other cultures.
Children have an natural curiosity about the world and begin to notice differences. They sometimes even voice that curiosity aloud! We’ve all been there or maybe even we were that child! As parents and teachers we have an amazing role in teaching them about these differences. A great way to do that is working out differences in play so your child will learn, begin to realize and even respect every person’s uniqueness. Floor time is excellent for teaching about differences in the way others do things. Ex. “In our family we do this…., Johnny’s family does things this way.” Normalize that other families do different things and that is perfectly okay. Over time they will learn to respect everyone’s differences.
All this said, get of the floor with your kids. Get to their level and you will start to see new things. Let’s wear out the knees of our jeans for our kids! Comment below and let me know below how you incorporate floor time at your house!
CHECK OUT MY NEW SERIES: Intelligent Qualities in Children