I think sometimes one of the harder aspects of parenting is having the energy to play with our children, especially children who have trauma backgrounds.

Time spent  with them can be taxing and exhausting, causing us to be weary and too tired to play!

But one of the huge benefits of playfulness with our children, is it brings about connection, communication, facilitates attachment and calms them.
Yes! Play can calm a dysregulated child!  And that is a huge benefit to us, as parents! 🙂

One of our sweeties seemed to just be rather grumpy for a couple of days.  It wasn’t anything awful and she really wasn’t disrespectful, she just seemed weary.  It could be the end of school blues, or stresses  with a busy schedule.  I don’t know.
But instead of having a serious talk, I engaged her in some fun play. I spontaneously had her put her work  down and we did some fun hand games,  and then we danced together, just being goofy.
She laughed and laughed.
And you know what?  That edge was gone, she initiated hugs from me yesterday and then again all day today.
It is like she has her joy back.

I think sometimes we can forget that our minds need to rest,  and they also need to process what we have taken in.
Playing games is a perfect way for that to happen!

I remember when our boys were little I used to give them a very long lunch.  They could rough house, play soccer, or just play together.  I was always amazed at how they seemed to process what they were learning in school  or just general family life, through play.
Our girls do the same thing.
I remember a few years ago Sweetie 4 said at lunch time, “I know! Let’s pretend we are sisters and that we  were adopted, and that we are home schooled and that we love each other and everything!”
Her sisters really started laughing at that one. 🙂

Here are some ideas for playing with your children, young or old.

1.   Basket ball
2.   Blowing bubbles
3.   Dancing to music
4.   Hand games
5.   Hide and go seek
6.   Freeze tag
7.   Hula Hoops
8.    Play dough
9.   Legos
10.  Blowing up Balloons and popping them
11. Swimming together (diving for rings)
12.  Going on a scavenger hunt

Playful engagement is really important. It makes our children feel “LIKED”.
We need to feel liked.
Today, before the girls left for dog training, I packed them each a lunch, leaving a playful note of truth in each bag. 🙂
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What are your ideas for playful engagement?


2 Responses to Playfulness

  1. kimbabucha says:

    My kids are just home from Bulgaria so we are dealing with understanding each other as well as connecting! I like to pantomime what I am trying to say and then sometimes just pantomiming random silliness to get a laugh and giggle! Sometimes when my son (9) says something in Bulgarian I say back “pickle, pickle, snickle, snickle” and then he says it back and then I say it and then we are just laughing and looking into each other’s eyes and starting our own love language. 🙂

  2. ChristieM says:

    Congratulations on bringing your kids home!
    It is interesting how that playfulness leads to eye contact and looking at each other.
    You are right on!
    Way to go mama!

Comments warmly welcomed!


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