MOMMY, MOMMY, WILL YOU PLAY WITH ME?

 

Hearing these words usually comes with a bit of biting my tongue. Even for me, the Mom who believes whole-heartedly IN the value of play. Even for me, the Mom who has built a career around designing Play things. Even for me, the Mom who believes that all human beings, including grownups, should invite PLAY into their lives more.

Hearing these words usually comes with a bit of biting my tongue. Even for me, the Mom who believes whole-heartedly IN the value of play. Even for me, the Mom who has built a career around designing Play things. Even for me, the Mom who believes that all human beings, including grownups, should invite PLAY into their lives more.

So why, then, when I hear “Will you PLAY with me?” do I have to bite my tongue? Why is my first (internal) reaction to cringe? Why does it take mindfulness and intention and a conscious choice to engage in such a basic human form of CONNECTION? That’s ultimately what it is.

A Bid for Connection.

A child asks us to play because their PLAY is the work of childhood. Because they are INVITING us into their WORLD. Asking these five simple words – to ME – is an honor.

It’s a way for them to reach out, pull me close, show love, and connect.

And yet, I don’t always interpret their words as an invitation to connect. I usually see it as a chore.

While I am sitting down to play my mind races to all the other things I should be doing….or could be doing. I have a hard time slowing down my thoughts, my stream of consciousness enough to BE PRESENT. I think I have to direct what this interaction needs to look like. Or model something exceptional. Or teach something amazing.
And it feels like pressure…a burden…..when really,
PLAY is the JOY of childhood.

How do I turn off my to-do lists and tap into the peace inside my Soul that can nurture connection and the ability to
Show Up Messy and PLAY?


PRIORITIZE PLAY. Make it part of your daily rhythm to set time aside to engage with your child 1:1. Set a timer. And work your way up. Challenge yourself to sit down, on the floor with your child for x-amount of minutes. I like to do about 20 minutes but if that feels too overwhelming, start with 5. For FIVE minutes you are offering your child your complete attention – at their level. It’s a practice in mindfulness as much as a gift of human connection. If you feel your mind wandering like a puppy on a leash, gently pull it back into the present moment with your child. When there is about one-minute left on the timer, gently remind your child that you are wrapping up play in one minute. A timer allows for an external force (the timer) to be in charge of ending the session

 

 

 

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  • A handy, one-page printable you can hang on your refrigerator to refrigerator, mirror, or front door and get a visual reminder of ways to increase connection and love at home.
  • These reminders have transformed our connection at home into the mindful, intentional, and PlayFULL culture that I truly wished to cultivate and I know they will inspire your family’s connection too!

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