5-Minute-Fun, Excerpt: The Power of Parent-Child Play, parenting, parents

Mom Plays the Fool; Baby Giggles

Quite a few parents have asked me, “What qualifies as play?” as if there were one answer.  One dictionary defines the word playful as:

“high spirits, gaiety, and humor in action or speech.”

Hmmm. Fun is a key element!

Do you have fun with your children? Do they have fun with you? And how do you do that?

Let’s look at one bunch of intriguing synonyms for play:

“. . . cut up, be the life of the party, play the fool, carry on.”

Playing the fool may be tough for you if you struggle with spontaneity. Yet it can be learned, and I believe it is worth learning. You don’t have to truly be a fool, but you can be willing to look a little silly on occasion in order to connect with others in a fun way. Silliness comes easier if you start with babies. Merely sticking a shoe on your head makes a baby laugh, because he’s learned just enough about the way the world works to know that sneakers make ridiculous hats.

One evening when my son Tyler was six months old, he was trying desperately hard to crawl, but just couldn’t get it. Instead, he flopped about like a fish out of water…

Continue reading “Mom Plays the Fool; Baby Giggles”

5-Minute-Fun, Excerpt: The Power of Parent-Child Play, Parent-Child Play: What Gets in the Way?

Time and Energy Limits: Do you have time to play with your child?

In The Power of Parent-Child Play, I focus on how barriers to play can be broken into four different categories: time and energy limits, uncertainty about behavior or activities, lack of motivation, and family stress.

As we start this discussion, consider time and energy barriers. Do any of the following get in your way at the present time?  Which have presented real struggles for  you in the past?

  • Hectic work schedules and demands (working at home or outside employment)
  • Caring for your home and your family’s basic needs
  • High-need children (including colicky babies, or children with special needs)
  • A new baby
  • A busy toddler or preschooler
  • Volunteer activities
  • Illness or injury in extended family
  • Child related activities

Many of these busy activities are good and/or necessary. But do any of them interfere in some way with parent-child play and the intimacy it can bring?

Continue reading “Time and Energy Limits: Do you have time to play with your child?”