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Sentimental Dad Shares The 'Unsung Benefit' Of Playing With His Son

Photo: @parental_with_me / TikTok via Canva
Three TikTok screenshots of Andrew wearing a hat and grey shirt

Becoming a parent can offer tons of new and rewarding experiences, and according to one dad, it may even allow you to relive the fondest moments of your childhood.

A dad reveals one of the most ‘unsung benefits’ of having a child.

In a TikTok video, Andrew (@parental_with_me) posed an interesting perspective on parenthood that may even be a hack to reliving our best childhood memories. He asked his followers, “What’s an unsung benefit to having kids that nobody really talks about? I’ll go first.”

In his video, garnering over 200,000 views and counting, Andrew explains that as a parent you “literally get to relive your childhood through play with them.” The sentimental father further offers examples of how he can relive engaging in all the activities, games, books, and shows he once enjoyed as a child and share those experiences with his son, all while parenting at the same time. 

“You get to watch this person that’s never experienced this thing that you loved start to love it themselves," he said. "It’s awesome.”



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Parenting through play can reignite a sense of childhood wonder in moms and dads.

It's natural for adults to want to recapture the warm nostalgia and positive feelings that certain childhood memories evoke. After all, many of those memories are linked to pivotal moments of growth and development in our lives. There's a simplicity in reliving moments of youth that is difficult to define. It's a sense of security and joy, exempt from the complications of work and financial responsibility.

Andrew explains the "unsung" benefit of having a child and engaging with them through play.Photo: @parental_with_me / TikTok

In a follow-up video response to a comment that read, “I can do all of that with no kids,” Andrew concurred that while you don’t need to bring a child into the world to play Connect Four, build with Legos, or watch episodes of Pokémon, there is something about experiencing these things with your own kids that brings you back to your own childhood. 



“It puts you in this place where you were enjoying it as a kid, so it’s less about how you’re feeling about playing it as an adult, and it’s more about seeing them and how much they enjoy it, and being a part of that experience for them.” Adding, “The magic is in the shared experience, and that’s what I was trying to celebrate.”

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Reliving your childhood through play with your child can offer many benefits that extend beyond nostalgia. 

Aside from getting your hands sticky with Play-Doh, having fun with your kids can significantly strengthen the parent-child bond by fostering a deeper connection and trust between you and your child. When you engage with your kids in activities you enjoyed as a child, you not only share joyful experiences together, but you also provide a sense of continuity and tradition within your family.

According to Dr. Michael Popkin, the founder and president of Active Parenting Publishers, engaging with your child through play can positively impact their self-esteem because it encourages their creativity and provides them with opportunities to learn new skills while discovering the world around them.

Playing with your child ultimately allows you to better understand their world and perspective. This valuable insight can improve your communication, empathy, and parenting skills, and give you a clearer understanding of their likes, dislikes, and developmental needs, which is especially helpful as they grow older.

In the end, while it may not seem like much, mere “child’s play” may actually do more to support your child’s growth and development. The best part? You can do this all while having fun together.

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Xiomara Demarchi is a New York-based writer and frequent contributor to YourTango’s news and entertainment team. Keep up with them on Instagram.