If your kids are anything like mine, they are overjoyed when you stop everything to spend some time playing with them. It doesn’t have to be an organized game and you don’t need to pull out the clown costume. Just play.
I admit this is hard for me.
I was raised by a single mom who did not have time to play and when she did she was too tired. We tend to parent the way we were parented unless we make an active conscious decision to do things differently.
First thing in the morning the kids ask me to play with them. It is definitely not what I have in mind but I say yes more often than I say no.
Mark Sisson wrote extensively about the importance of play (yes, for us adults!) in his second book, The Primal Connection.
It also makes my fitbit happy.
8 Easy ways to play with you kids, and get some excercise while you do it!
1- Chase Them
2- Hide and Seek
(they suck at it, but they love it!) The Louis C.K. bit on this is hilarious.
3- Pretend you’re a lion, or tiger, or bear- oh my!
4- Build a sand castle
5- Get silly
6- Wrestle and roll around on the ground
7- Let them help you cook
8- And garden
Sometimes all we need to do it just stop what we’re doing and listen to them…
It makes such a difference in stress levels of both parent and child and connects you to your kids on a whole different level.
On that note, I’m off to play with my kids!