november 2013 monthly theme – how long is your leash?

Last year a post came out that criticized Moms for being on their cell phones instead of continuously interacting with their children. There were also a ton of interesting rebuttal posts written. Around that time, one of the PAIL Blogroll members sent us an email that said this:

I really like this post I randomly bumped into today. I’ve found that when I don’t give into the kid’s burning desire for my full attention all the time, she does a great job at playing alone and being imaginative. I think it’s good for her, independent play.

I think this is a balance that we all struggle with as parents. Some parents value independent play more than others, some kids are just inherently wired to be more content playing alone, and some people don’t give a whit if their kid can play alone and would prefer to be interacting with and stimulating their child than encouraging solo play. So our question this month is this:

How do you decide how much independent play is best for your child, and how long of a leash do you give them to do that?

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Does your ALI background make you feel like you need to spend more time being exclusively focused on your child?
  • Are you more “hands off” as a parent than you thought you’d be? More of a “helicopter parent?” Are you happy with the type of parent you’ve turned out to be?
  • Does your child do well with independent play? If so, did you have to consciously encourage this or did it just happen?
  • If your child doesn’t do much independent play, do you simply focus more on group learning and activities?
  • Does the length of your “leash” change depending upon if you’re at home or in public (e.g. at the park)?

As always, these questions are just a guide. Please feel free to write anything and everything you would like to on this topic in whichever way suits you best. If you have previously written on this topic, feel free to link away in your post, or submit any previous post on the topic as you see fit. And of course, if you do not have a blog of your own, we are happy to hear your thoughts in the comments and will link to your comment in the full post list for all to read.

Entries for this month’s theme are due Tuesday November 26th at midnight, EST.
The full list of links will go live on Thursday, November 28th (US Thanksgiving Day).

Please submit your posts using this form:


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