With the state of the world right now, there’s a lot of added stress on parents. Many parents are now expected to do the jobs of several people; employee, teacher, child care provider, maid, chef, etc. Plus, trying to keep everyone safe and stay up with the current events…it can make life feel very serious. We can’t take our kids anywhere fun and our to-do list and responsibilities are never ending. We want to be fun parents, but it doesn’t feel like we have the time or energy for it.
This post is to encourage you that YES, YOU CAN BE PLAYFUL! Being a playful parent doesn’t mean planning a trip to disneyland or the park, it doesn’t mean not having rules or limits.
Being playful requires two things from you…being present and calm.
BEING PRESENT: Kids want their parents full, undivided attention. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of your focused attention will make a huge difference to your child. If you’re in the middle of something, and your child asks you to play, set a timer for how long you’re going to give yourself to work on that task, when the timer goes off, put down what you’re doing and turn your attention to your child.
BEING CALM: This doesn’t mean you can’t be silly too. Of course part of being playful is laughing, maybe even running or dancing, tickling, getting a little riled up. But by “be calm”, I mean don’t get frustrated or angry, don’t use a tone. This is a time for connection, so keep your tone calm, light, and playful. Maybe even let go of somethings that might usually trigger you, like happy screams. As long as everyone is having fun, what’s wrong with letting your child scream in excitement?
WAYS TO BE PLAYFUL:
- Build a fort
- Bake together
- Go for a walk
- Have a tickle fight
- Have a dance party
- Get on the floor and play whatever your child is playing
- Play hide and seek
- Play chase/tag
- Color together
- Play catch
- Have a picnic or tea party
- Let your child paint your nails
- Play dress up
- Copy each others silly faces
- Run through the sprinklers together
- Do a puzzle together
- Play a board game
- Have a campout in your living room or backyard
- Let your child choose what’s for dinner, even if they choose ice cream
- Tell stories together (take turns adding to the story)