So what is it that keeps us from incorporating more play into the lives of our children? Could it be that in order to truly serve our children we need to lighten up? Could it be that we are stunting the development of our children because we have forgotten how to play ourselves? How often do we as adults take time to play? 3 Ways to Bring Playfulness (Back) Into Your Relationship
I don't mean time to relax or time to be entertained, I mean how often do we enter into the creative process? One may argue that life is so stressful that we need to tune out and be entertained at the end of the day. I would propose that one of the reasons life is so stressful is that we do not incorporate enough play into the day. If we could, then perhaps we would understand just what an important role play fills in relieving stress in our children.
Perhaps, rather than playmates, we should see ourselves as creativity coaches for our little ones. We set the scene, we teach our children how to enter into it, and then we leave them to their play. The best reason to do this? You will never hear, "I'm bored!"
Children who can engage their own creativity don't get bored, and if they do, they are easily redirected into play. Children who are used to being entertained either by people or electronics are easily bored because they are used to the stimulus coming from something outside of themselves. Once that external stimulus is gone — they are at a loss. Have More Fun In Your Relationship!
Countless scientists and artists talk about the inspirations that come to them in times of stillness in the bath, the bed, or the bus; but as a society, it seems that we are just not comfortable with quiet. That play has come to be associated with something unproductive is both unfair and dangerous. Play and creativity are responsible for breakthroughs in both the arts and the sciences.
The devaluation of our own creativity and the increased need for external entertainment may well result in a destruction of our creativity and ultimately our happiness. If we can recapture our sense of play and our appreciation for stillness, I believe it could be our gift to ourselves and to the world. The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
Resources for Further Listening:
Amy’s interview on Fox 23 about the importance of free play: http://www.myfoxmaine.com/story/15234911/positive-parenting-importance-of-free-play-for-children?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6133796
Amy’s interview with Dr. James Sutton on the Changing Behavior Network:
http://www.thechangingbehaviornetwork.com/ You may need to scroll down to January 31st 2012.