ast week, on a sunny morning, I found myself observing my 2 and a half-year-old nephew, Yash, behaving differently than usual. He seemed calmer, happier, and surprisingly less fidgety. Curiosity piqued, I set out to uncover the secret behind this newfound tranquility.

As I looked around, I noticed that the house was experiencing an unexpected electricity breakdown. The TV and phones were all rendered useless, and other family members had taken this opportunity to head out to the terrace to fix and tidy up the garden. Little did I know that this simple disruption would unveil a beautiful story of real play and its impact on young minds.

Leaving the family to their gardening tasks, I followed Yash as he ventured into the garden. To my delight, he had found a small patch of mud that had been recently dug up. There, under the open sky, he found his haven of happiness. With no electronic gadgets to distract him, he was free to explore and play with the mud at his heart's content.

With a childlike wonder, he dug his tiny hands into the soft earth, grabbing fistfuls of mud and shifting them from one spot to another. The gleeful smile on his face was evidence of the joy he found in this simple, unstructured play. No one was telling him what to do or how to play; he was free to be himself, and that freedom seemed to invigorate his spirit.

As I sat back and watched this heartwarming scene, I couldn't help but draw a parallel to my own parenting journey with my now 9-year-old son, Adi. I remembered the precious moments we shared when he was small, the time we spent engaging in various activities that brought us closer together.

I recalled how, during my cooking sessions in the kitchen, I never resorted to using the TV as a babysitter for Adi. Instead, I would involve him in the process. He eagerly assisted me by bringing vessels and ingredients, his face beaming with pride at being part of the team. I also created a tiny kitchen play area for him, where he could mimic my actions with his tiny pots, pans, and vegetables. It was through these simple yet meaningful interactions that we forged a bond that continues to grow stronger with each passing day.


As the day unfolded, Yash continued to enjoy his muddy adventure, unaffected by the digital distractions that often surrounded him. His play was raw, authentic, and fueled by his boundless imagination. It was as if he had rediscovered the magic of childhood, and it was heartwarming to witness.

The contrast between the two scenes couldn't have been starker. On the one hand, a child engrossed in real play, and on the other, the image of him being frustrated and angry when glued to the TV or a smartphone. It was a poignant reminder of the impact of our modern times on the tender minds of our little ones.

In a world dominated by gadgets and screens, it's all too easy to overlook the significance of real play. We must pause and reflect on the time we spend with our children and the memories we create with them. It takes effort and dedication from parents to provide an environment that nurtures their growth, and we should not underestimate the power of genuine interactions and meaningful play.

As the sun set on that eventful day, I realized that the little changes we make in our routines can have a profound impact on our children's happiness and development. It is up to us, as parents, to be mindful of how we adopt to the changing times and to make conscious choices that prioritize real play and quality time with our little ones. For in doing so, we gift them not only with a joyful childhood but also with the foundation for a fulfilling and emotionally connected life.

As parents, we are presented with countless opportunities to actively engage with our children and witness the beautiful process of their growth and development. From the early years of their infancy to the transformative moments of adolescence, each stage offers unique experiences that strengthen the parent-child bond. By embracing these opportunities, we can truly savor the joys of parenthood and create lasting memories that will be cherished by both parents and children alike.

During the early years, we have the chance to witness the wonder of their first steps, their first words, and their eagerness to explore the world around them. These precious moments are perfect opportunities for parents to be involved and actively participate in their children's discoveries. Whether it's crawling together on the floor, pointing at objects, or encouraging them to express their thoughts and emotions, being present during these formative years is a gift that will forever be etched in our hearts.

As they enter their toddler phase, children become more curious and eager to learn. This is the ideal time for parents to introduce them to the joys of real play and engage in activities that stimulate their imagination. From building forts with blankets to playing dress-up, the possibilities are endless. Embracing these opportunities allows us to see the world through their innocent eyes and fosters a sense of wonder and creativity that will serve them well in the future.

Adolescence can be a transformative and sometimes challenging time for both parents and children. However, this phase also presents incredible opportunities for parents to deepen their connection with their kids. By actively listening, understanding their feelings, and respecting their growing independence, parents can foster trust and open communication. Engaging in shared interests, whether it's sports, music, or hobbies, provides a platform for building strong bonds and treasured memories.

In addition to daily interactions, family outings and vacations offer prime opportunities for quality time with our children. Exploring new places, trying new activities together, and simply enjoying each other's company strengthens the family unit and creates lasting memories that children will carry with them throughout their lives.

As we navigate the challenges and joys of parenting, it is essential to recognize that each moment, no matter how small, holds the potential for connection and growth. By being present, actively involved, and attentive to our children's needs, we create a nurturing environment in which they can flourish. Our role as parents is a privilege, and by seizing every opportunity to be involved in their lives, we bear witness to the incredible journey of watching our children grow, learn, and become the amazing individuals they are meant to be.

Jul 29, 2023
Integrated Parenting

More from 

Integrated Parenting


View All