Everyone, or at least most people I know, know that I am passionate about children and play. I believe that we are doing a disservice to our children when we take away play and recess and instead try to cram in some more academic time. As a former preschool teacher the idea of a preschool without play seems to me to be counter intuitive. Children learn through play – period- end of story. Ok – I will get off of my soapbox now. ( If you want to learn more about the research on play just let me know…)
I grew up in a house where once you reached a certain age you were “done with play” and you moved on to more “mature” things. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a family where play continued and continued and continued. In fact no one really ever stopped playing.
When we had children I was the one who was always telling them to clean up their toys, to be careful, and others ways of squashing their play. I will be forever grateful to my husband for teaching me how to play. He was the one that played “airplane” with the girls on Sat mornings. He was the one who opened up Joe’s diner in our kitchen and he was the one that made grocery shopping an amazing adventure. Watching him I learned or re-learned how to play and soon all of the people in our home were playing.( It was after learning how important it is to play that I left teaching at the elementary level and opened my own pre-school.)
So…forget the laundry, forget cleaning, cancel some of your obligations and just get down and play with your children. They will love it and you will be amazed at how fun it really is and how good it makes you feel.
Have fun today!
“A society in which adults are estranged from the world of children, and often from their own childhood, tends to hear children’s speech only as a foreign language, or as a lie. Children have been treated as congenital fibbers, fakers and fantasisers.”
-Beatrix Campbell, British journalist (1947- )
Today’s society is very demanding. Many of us find ourselves running on empty and hardened to the world of play that we once loved. When we allow our schedules and demands to take over our lives, we cut ourselves off from an important connection we have to our children. We can even start to resent them for the fun that they do have because we’ve forgotten how. When is that last time you really listened to your son or daughter? Children generally have a fresh and positive view of the world, but we often only hear them when they complain and then we take it personally. Try letting go of a little tension the next time you see your kids and just be with them. Listen to what they have to say without trying to teach or shape them. Just sit back and allow yourself to see the world through their eyes; you might be surprised at how much fun it is, even if only for a moment.
-Hal Runkel, LMFT, Author of ScreamFree Parenting & ScreamFree Marriage