Do you play with your children?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Dizzy, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I'm sure the answer will be yes!

    I went on some fascinating training about the importance of play. The final session of 3 led by an amazing woman with a huge wealth of knowledge around psychotherapy, the brain, energy in the body, behaviour, healing, trauma, the list goes on. She practices equine psychotherapy with horses for traumatised kids and young people and runs a school for kids who have no other help available... Anyway, I digress!

    Basically a report in the uk recently commented that 1 in 6 parents here don't play or don't know how to play with their children.

    We discussed the purposes of play.... Learning, mimicking, preparing, experimenting, risk assessing, finding boundaries, attachment, making sense of the world, stress release etc etc...

    And we applied that to our society today... Kids who aren't being played with are...

    Not learning to prepare.
    Not learning to experiment.
    Not learning to attach.
    Not learning about relationships.
    Not learning to release stress.

    And so on.

    I found this quite profound, as this is something I'm constantly battling against with many of the children I work with... I have a huge thing about quality time, and the fact that most parents I work with (not the general population!!) don't understand what that actually means. I've started making worksheets about it to really give practical tips to my parents and carers.

    But given a report saying one in six uk parents aren't playing with their children..... Well that's staggering. And link that hand in hand to social problems we encounter in the modern world....

    Computer games, mobile phones, busy jobs, no time to sit at a table and talk, or go places...... We don't see what we are doing to the next generation.

    I'm huge on attachment. I live and breathe it.... I just felt like sharing my thoughts of the week, because its interesting :)

    I know parents here tend to be very attachment focused I've seen the chats :D so reassuring. But makes me so sad for the rest of society :(
     
  2. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    Yes, all the time in many ways. She is an only child and as such she has gotten very good at playing by herself and entertaining herself but sometimes you need two people lol. Yesterday we built a fort an played party with all her stuffed animals and then we put on Christmas movies and sat in the fort and painted ornaments we made earlier that morning.

    My mom was and is a wonderful mother but she just wasn't into playing. I always told myself that I would play with my kids if I ever had any.
     
  3. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    Not as often as I would like. But I do make sure we do something together everyday.
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Growing up, I don't think my parents really played with us. As babies, yes, but as older toddlers/children? Not really. That being said, I have four other siblings, and we had each other to play with all the time.

    We would do activities or games with our parents, but not...play, if that makes sense. Like, when I would play with my Polly Pockets and make up this vast universe that they lived in, my mom wouldn't play with me....but we'd carve pumpkins or something together. LOL And mom may have not been out playing in the mud in the field with Jake and I, but she would document our escapades with her camera. ;)

    Dad, too. He would do activities with us. "Helping" him do lawn and garden maintenance, really. But I remember as a child he'd grab a hold of my hands and I would run up his legs and do a back flip while he held on to my hands to keep me from falling. :D

    I guess I had my sibling for all of the "make believe" and "toy" playtime. My parents were involved in the more structured activities.
     
  5. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    We did an activity where we had to choose a toy, and interact with other group members with no words, only making your toy show how you felt.....

    OMG..... It was scary how everyone regressed to the feelings and experiences they had as a child!! Those thoughts and feelings of interacting with people you don't really know, without the safety net of speech and language.

    Just FASCINATING!! remember this was the last session of 3, the previous sessions discussing trauma and how memories are formed etc....

    I'm so in awe of how far we are coming in learning about the human mind and how our personalities and behaviours are formed. Obviously this is related to my job, but sooooo much translates to all other mammals, including dogs of course!!!!!

    We are not far removed from other animals at all, and so much of our responses and behaviours are predictable, it's not funny.... You can literally track back your responses to discover how you were parented, or your early experience. Miiiiiiiind blowing :)

    Cellular memory, energy flowing through the body, energy connecting us to people around us... Science is starting to uncover a base in it all :)

    And again, I've gone off tangent :p
     
  6. NicoleLJ

    NicoleLJ PSD Partner

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    This really came home solid for me yesterday. I have always played with my kids, cuddled with them, read to them and so on. Isabeau is 1 week shy of 15 and she still likes to cuddle up on the couch for us to read together or watch a movie. And playing board games, darts, pool and so on is huge here. Well last night there were two of our friends(not close friends) 14yr old daughters here. They get along great with Isabeau and are regulars at my home because they we extended family of my partners ex and the friendship just continued(saw no reason to intervene). Anyway the discussion turned to Isabeau babysitting tonight and how she might have to change Nico. And the girls giggled like girls do about how she would see his private area. Isabeau stated that she had seen her brothers and once you seen one you seen them all and they all looked the same. That is when I chimed in that they are not the same. Nico is natural and her other two brothers are snipped. So the girls asked what that meant. In this house we talk like sex, anatomy and so on is no big deal. We answer questions in a educational way with no embarrassment. Which the girls were shocked about and this lead into how they could never ask their parents questions like this. And Isabeau spoke up and stated how she could ask me anything with no worries or embarrassment. The girls then said well if you got pregnant you would be scared to talk to your mom. And Isabeau stated that she wouldn't be scared at all to talk to me. That just the night before she and I were talking about what abortion is. She told them she already knows how I would react if she came to me and told me she was pregnant. That I would be Hugely disappointed but I would talk to her about all her options and support her in her choices. The girls were completely shocked. They said their parents would either kill them or kick them out and had told them as much.

    The reason I wanted to state the above is that play and time spent talking during play opens up so many learning things like the OP stated but it also builds trust. Trust that is so important. These girls obviously do not trust their parents. And one actually pulled me aside and was crying on my shoulder about something because she couldn't talk to her mom. I will be talking to my community support worker on how to help her. But my point is the OP is 100% right. We need to create an atmosphere of trust, safety and dependability for our kids. My daughter has been through hell and back and yet she knows that no matter what I am here for her and she can turn to us for anything no matter if it will disappoint us or not. It really sadden me that these two girls don't have the same.

    Great post OP!
     
  7. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    I played with my children, I play with my grandchildren. WE invent, we build blocks, and castles and make happy faces on the street when we walk out of stones and sticks and leaves, catch grasshoppers and turn them loose, and that was just yesterday.. THat is the best part of my life. My son can't wait to get home from work to play with his children. So I must have done something right. I cant' i imagine not doing the best thing in the whole wide world. Eveyrthing else there is to do can't compare to the joy of that and the pride I see when I hear and see creativity, thinking proesses develop, skills increase, problem solving, ever needed to make a little bit of the creek smoother for a paper boat? What is more fun than dropping maple seeds off of a high deck, and bubbles.....maybe I just never grew up and if that is the case, I never want to. CAnt' begin to comprehend having to be told to play with my children.

    trust and LOVE.
     
  8. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    I can't imagine NOT playing with my children! From peek a boo to card games and video games...just seems like the natural order of things. Admittedly, it was easier to 'play' with them as babies/toddlers. The games were easier and shorter, and they were much less surly when loosing LOL

    I remember playing volley ball and soft ball with parents, cousins, aunts/uncles and such as a kid! Would never want to rob my kids of that, and of knowing mom and dad WANT to be with them, and have fun as a family! :)
     
  9. LindaJD

    LindaJD New Member

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    I loved playing with my kids when they were growing up. We had the best tea parties and went sledding alot, built snowmen, played tag etc..
    Even as adults I still play with them, just last night we had game night and all sat around the table with wives and boyfriends playing apples to apples and then ordered cards against humanity on Amazon for our next game night. We still all go play laser tag, paintball, go tubing and bowling together. I hope I can play with them for many many more years along with their kids.
     

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