By: Dr. Erica Wollerman
Parents of young children are probably so familiar with the advice that they should play with their kids. We call it quality time, special time, playtime, etc. Often it probably just feels like one more thing we need to do in addition to all the other demands on modern parents, which is genuinely hard to feel motivated about.
I get it! Just the other day, I was inside cleaning up while my partner and son were outside playing with their new water toys having a pretty epic water fight. In fact, my decision to join their fun (because, well, why not?) led to this very blog post. You see, while I really didn’t “feel like it,” I did go and join my family. And honestly, I got drenched but had the best time laughing and just playing with them. It reminded me of how much I love playing with my son and laughing together as a family. In this age of being so busy and over-scheduled all the time, I believe these are the moments we need and help fuel us for the tougher ones we all have.
Interestingly, I find that even parents who enjoyed playing with their kids when they were younger forget that this is an activity that can truly endure the test of time. Just because you have a pre-teen or a teen, or even a college kid, does not mean they are too old to play. More so, just because you are an adult does not mean you are too old to play - or even too old to benefit from it!
You see, while many of us understand that play is the language of learning for young children, we forget that creativity and play are essential to people in general. Play is a great outlet, coping strategy, and genuine food for anyone’s soul. I find that adults are often so serious about everything, and we get so caught up in our seriousness that we forget the joy and in-the-moment energy that comes from play.
As summer gets going, I would encourage you to take advantage of the summer weather and potential extra free time (I know, I know, it is not always a given, but often we have a little more flexibility in summer) and spend some time PLAYING with your kids.
Here are FIVE ideas that might help you get started - even if your kid is a teen or young adult!
I truly hope you take the time to try this out with your kids, or heck, even alone or with a friend or partner today! We all could use more joy and moments where we just laugh for no reason at all. Play can help get us there :) Take it from me; a play therapist turned water-play-loving parent!
If you are interested in learning more about connecting with your child, please make sure to sign up for our newsletter! Dr. Wollerman will be launching a parenting course all about this topic later this summer or early fall! You don’t want to miss it!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client-centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy we offer in person and telehealth via video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304. To stay in the loop on the services offered and to receive updated information about Thrive, please feel free to sign up for the newsletter through the following link: http://eepurl.com/dsgLNL.
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