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?


SAY YES. These moments with our children are fleeting. Before you know it they won’t be asking you to PLAY with them. If you are quick to say no; have a million things are your to-do list; or are grumpy to get started; eventually your child will stop engaging. Not because they don’t want to play with you….but if you are always disgruntled with the invitation, eventually they will give up. Is that what you want? SAY YES. Can dinner wait 10 minutes to get started? Yes. Can bedtime be pushed back 15 minutes? YES. Try to buffer time in your schedule for unplanned play invitations.

 

 

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  • This TIP + 11 More provenreminders of How to Play (with your kids) in PRINTABLE form. These are the reminders I use to cultivate a PlayFULL connection with each of my children.
  • 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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