'I refuse to play with my kids and it's the best decision I ever made.'

Gentle parenting. Authoritative parenting. Free range parenting. Attachment parenting. Lawnmower parenting. In 2024, we have access to about a million different parenting styles, and depending on what works for you and your family, you may have chosen to adopt one of them. But a new TikTok video is offering an approach to parenting that has caused quite a stir.

Content creator KC Davis (AKA @domesticblisters) has become popular on TikTok thanks to her opinion videos, which range from parenting advice to relationship tips. However, one of her most recent posts has sparked a major debate in the comments section, with users either agreeing with her parenting tactic or slamming her decisions.

In what can be described as a form of 'free range parenting' KC opened up about how — and why — she refuses to 'play' with her children.

"The reason that I have children who are four and six that let me sleep in on a Saturday because they'll just go play. The reason I can go and read a book while they play — that they're able to play independently — is because I just said 'no' to them every single time they asked me to play with them for years," she said in the now-viral video.

"And eventually they stopped asking and just went off and played."

When she began implementing this approach years ago, KC says that it initially came with some pushback from her kids — which included them responding by crying.

"Nobody tells you that the way that you get there is by saying 'no', a lot," she explained.

"And they're sad about it and they're mad about it — 'Please Mommy play with me' — and you feel like you're the worst parent in the world for saying no to them and hurting their feelings."


Anticipating that she'd receive some negative responses ("I can already hear the hate comments on this video," she said), the content creator went on to explain her approach in detail. Her main point centres around not ignoring them completely, but engaging with her children in a way that is meaningful to her.

"Hear what I'm saying, not what I'm not," she said. "I'm not saying don't spend time with your kids. I'm not saying don't be playful with your kids. I'm not saying don't connect with them, okay? 

"I'm saying that I established a culture in my house that adults do not play with toys. Adults do not pretend play. I bake with my kids. I do art with my kids. I go on walks with my kids. We go to the museum with my kids. We just got done making a scale model of the Solar System together because they said they were interested in planets."

Watch: KC Davis explains why she refuses to play with her children. Story continues below.

Video via TikTok/domesticblisters.

In her video, Davis went on to explain how she would be spending her evening, which included plans to have one-on-one time with her husband while her children are in the other room.

"We just ordered some Indian food; when they get out of the shower I'm gonna probably get in bed and read a book and eat some Indian food with their dad, and they will be expected to just play, like kids," she said.


Since posting the video, it has hit a million views and has garnered close to 10,000 comments, so it's safe to say her 'no play' approach has gotten people talking. Among the comments were people who were speaking out in support of this parenting style and rallying behind KC.

"Yes! I called it the 'boredom half bell curve'. The boredom goes up and up and up and then!? They find a fun thing. But not if you interrupt them by 'fixing' the boredom," wrote Kate.

"Did the same thing. Our kids learned that it was not our job to entertain them 24/7. By not overextending ourselves we had the energy and desire to make our time together enjoyable for everyone," said Danielle.

"This makes me feel so much better for hating playing with toys with my toddler. I’m not built for it," wrote another.

However, perhaps not surprisingly, there were also plenty of people chiming in with their opinions on how important it is to foster and engage with your children using imaginative play to develop social and communication skills.

"My child is an only child, I will gladly play with him when he asks. A request to play is a request for connection," wrote one commenter.

"I get it, but also I want my kids to have core memories of us together doing simple things like play... I find joy in their joy," said Pearl.

"This makes me sad. Some of my fave childhood memories with my parents were pretend play. I have twins now and love recreating those moments with them," wrote Elle.

In response to her video going viral, Davis has since come forward to share more of her thoughts on the debate that has ignited.


"Laying low from TikTok while the hate comments on my viral video blow over but wanted to put this up for important context," she captioned a video that included screenshots of comments underneath the original post. 

"I'm not always the best parent I can be but I'm proud of the progress I've made and I can feel myself becoming better for them every day. They deserve the world. They deserve a patient, playful, engaged mom and that's always my goal. Slowly but surely I'm getting there and I do not feel ashamed."

She also shared another video that dug further into her own experience as a child, and how her mother engaged with her.

"I'm just doing what my mum did," she said. "I don't have a single memory of my mum playing 'pretend' with me or playing toys with me. But she is my best friend to this day. I remember my mum as the best mum in the world."

@domesticblisters Replying to @pan people act like if my kids hand me an imaginary sandwich, I bat it out of their hands and tell them to fuck off. Obviously, I eat the sandwich. Like, I am playful with my kids. But I don’t do get on the floor imaginary play with toys and I think that’s OK. #strugglecare #mentalhealth #neurodivergentparenting #parentingtiktok ♬ original sound - Kc Davis

Whether you're for or against pretend play with your kids, perhaps the most important thing to take away from KC's viral video is that what works for some might not work for others. Social media has opened up a portal into the lives and approaches of families all across the world — some of these lifestyles might inspire you to try something new or they may galvanise your confidence in how you're parenting.

Either way, it's important to remember that we can see other parenting styles, respect the decision they've made and continue doing what supports your family in the best way possible — minus any (always unnecessary) mum shaming.

How do you feel about playing with your kids? Tell us in the comments section below.

Feature Image: TikTok/@domesticblisters