We we’re at the playground after a soccer game yesterday. Lorelei and I were working to round the kids up. It was a beautiful afternoon, but there were things do to and we had to move on.
Every time we encouraged any one of them to come to the car, they let us know that they, “just need a few more minutes,” or that they, “had to do one more thing.”
Kids love to play, and play is a wonderful tool for learning, growth, and well-being.
Play allows us to explore. When we’re playing we’re using intellectual, social and physical skills, and in doing so on the foundation of interest, engagement and joy, we’re enhancing those skills and building a broader range of skills to access for a number purposes within and outside of play.
We adults have things to do. We’re busy. It’s not feasible to play all day long. However, as I watched our kids play yesterday, I remembered that play is more important than I sometimes give it credit for.
We can be mindful and present during play. When we’re playing, we can step away from the daily stressors that bog us down and distract us. Play can help us restore, reset and renew. It would seem that we need to be at our desks and at computers for productivity, but that may not be the case.
Instead of continuing to try to usher the kids into the car yesterday, I succumbed to their instance on extended play. Then, I took it a sept further and played with them. It was joyful. For a moment, I stoped worrying about the timelines, the work and the chores. It wasn’t long. I only played for about fifteen minutes. That fifteen minutes of play energized my body and focused my mind.
When we did return to the car to make our way home I was more present. I was better able to organize the rest of day between family and professional responsibilities. I felt relaxed and happy. I felt joyful. Additionally, I went to bed early and slept really well last night.
The stressors didn’t go away. I still have things to do and I still have things to worry about.
Listening to my kids and deciding to take some time to genuinely focus on play with them didn’t remove me from the busy world of adult responsibilities. Instead, it gave me an increased awareness of what is truly important within that world, and it helped me visualize and plan for an increasingly balanced pathway forward.
We know that play is great for kids. Don’t forget that it’s great of us as well. Take the time to get out and play. It will be worthwhile, it’s fun, and if you let yourself…you’re likely to love it!
Thanks for reading…in it together for the kids!
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead.