Just Stop and Play

connecting through play

“Mom, play with me!”

How could I resist this request from my adorable 5-year-old?

I paused all my mommy duties of cleaning my disastrous house, responding to emails, doing laundry and getting things sorted for the evening.

We sat down together, where I gave Gavin just what he wanted, one on one time.

I used a child centered play technique that is often used by child life specialists and one that I co-teach at Bank Street College. It is letting the child lead the play, without judgement, expectations and limits. Kids can play with open-ended toys and begin to really get deep in their play with the adult mirroring and validating them. It’s a wonderful way to help build a child’s self-confidence, resolve inner-conflict, express themselves, and at the same time it is strengthening the emotional relationship with the child and adult.

Twenty minutes of this type of play, brought us back together.

All the feelings of frustration from getting out the door this morning melted away.

You know the madness; yelling to get dressed, to stop teasing your sibling, to hurry up, put your listening ears on and threats of losing Minecraft time. Those everyday, crazy parenting mornings, all flushed away from both of us.

There were no distractions, just he and I. It was the best twenty minutes of our day.

Would you be up to trying this out with your kids?

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