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Mom Argues That Parents Should Stop ‘Constantly Entertaining’ Their Children Every Minute Of The Day

Photo: Tomsickova Tatyana / Shutterstock
mom entertaining children

A mom is encouraging other parents to stop holding themselves to unrealistic standards when it comes to the amount of time they play with their children. In a video posted to Instagram, the mom-of-three and content creator named Jennifer argued that parents should lower the expectation of how often they need to entertain and play with their kids.

The mom encouraged parents to stop 'constantly entertaining' their children every minute of the day.

"So, I just spent a weekend with my kids who are six, four, and two years old," Jennifer began her video. "The amount of time that I spent setting up activities, cleaning up activities, participating in activities, is so much."

She pointed out that this standard that many parents hold themselves to when it comes to entertaining and playing with their children is unrealistic and exhausting.

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Jennifer explained that when her generation was children, this expectation didn't exist for their parents. She claimed that she had no recollection of her mother's life revolving around entertaining her for every second of every day.

"I'm not telling you that I'm doing activities with my kids so that you think I'm the world's best mom because I am far from it," she said. "But I'm just saying, why have we placed this expectation on ourselves to entertain our kids so that they don't die from having too much screen time?"

Jennifer continued, saying that this is just a high bar that parents have placed on themselves, almost as if trying to fix the mistakes made during their own childhood. This reality is especially unsustainable if both parents in the house work full-time and try and maintain all household responsibilities on top of that. There are sometimes simply not enough hours in the day for parents to do it all, and they shouldn't be expected to.

"We as parents are spending more time playing with our kids. We're spending more time on care tasks for ourselves, our kids, and the house than our parents did," she said. "It's because we've changed the expectation of parenting to think that we're always supposed to be involved and we're supposed to enjoy every minute and get on the ground and play with them."

Mom Encourages Parents To Stop Constantly Entertaining Their Children Every Minute Of The DayPhoto: LightField Studios / Shutterstock

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Jennifer argued that parents should be fine with 'lowering the bar.'

She pointed out that there's nothing wrong with parents giving themselves a bit of leeway. 

"We don’t have to be constantly entertaining our kids, we can give them space to entertain themselves," she insisted. In the caption of her post, she expanded on her thoughts, acknowledging that the rise of social media parenting influencers has most likely contributed to individuals feeling like they need to be doing more with their children.

"I feel like a lot of this is expectation placed upon us by ourselves, society, [and] everyone else’s highlight reels on social media," she wrote. "I don’t recall my parents doing the same thing."

In the comments section, other parents shared their thoughts about Jennifer's argument, with one Instagram user writing, "My kids entertain themselves. I am still nearby to talk and such, but I'm not entertaining them."

Mom Encourages Parents To Stop Constantly Entertaining Their Children Every Minute Of The DayPhoto: Standret / Shutterstock

"Sometimes I'll play games, but we are all exhausted by the end of the day and just enjoy being in the same room." Another user added, "And to top it off, there is also the constant guilt, particularly as [a] working mom."

There's nothing wrong with parents allowing their children to play and entertain themselves without feeling the need to hover and play with them. Of course, Jennifer isn't telling parents to cease all play with their kids, but if they feel exhausted and depleted, parents should equally be encouraged to take time for themselves. 

There needs to be a shift toward a more realistic and sustainable approach to parenting without people feeling the need to compare their parenting styles and what they might be doing right or wrong. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.