A while ago, a Facebook post got passed around called, "letter to the mom on her phone."
You're lucky you don't have to read my "Letter to the judge-y asshole writing a letter."
The basic premise of the letter (the first letter, not my letter) was that parents should be more present for their children, and not just be near near them, playing on their phones.
Look, I can get behind that. I agree. We should pay attention to our children.
Here's the thing.
I'm no expert, but it is my belief (foreshadowing) that good parents let their children learn how to play by themselves. But more importantly, it is my belief that children who are left alone to play are more free to play as CHILDREN.
Even with the best of intentions, when I play with my kids I invariably alter the way they play: "You do it like this," "Let me show you," "Stop doing that," "Don't use it like that," "That is totally gross I can't believe you even just did that don't ever do it again."
And, wouldn't you know it, a study was recently published looking at children's attitudes and behaviors after play sessions by themselves versus play sessions where they played with their parents. Children were significantly less relaxed, more irritable, cried more and smiled less after a play session with their parents. The study showed that when parents tried to play with their kids, they tended to direct their play - the theory is that this is as irritating to children as it is to grown-ups.
Take home lesson? Leave your child alone. You are annoying.