It’s Monday, and many of us might be going back reluctantly to work after the lovely sunny weekend. If you’re anything like me, you may be running late, doing 84,000 things at once and trying to pull it all together. In this mindset, it can be easy to miss the signals our kids are sending that they are also stressed or overwhelmed…. especially if they come while one pant leg is on at 8:22am. Even though it may seem like childhood is a time of worry-free play, our kids can and do get stressed just like us!
Here’s a lovely post about play and how it can help kids who are having big feelings, with some wonderful ideas for ways to play with our kids even when we only have a few minutes. The team at Aha Parenting describes the multiple benefits of play, for grown-ups and children—
I realize that at the end of the day you might be exhausted. I personally would much rather snuggle on the couch than initiate an active game. The good news is that these games don't have to last long -- maybe 10 minutes at most, or even as little as 2 minutes.
And believe it or not, most parents find them energizing. That's because the tension and irritation we carry around makes us tired. When we play, we discharge stress hormones just like our kids, giving us a little more energy as we head into the evening.
So when your child asks you to play, make a deal. Sure, you'll play dollhouse, or build a train track. But first, will they play a roughhousing game with you for a few minutes? Don't be surprised if your child loves this kind of play so much, he begins begging for these games over and over.