I had an epiphany on the playground. I was sitting on a bench watching my 4-year-old son go down a slide, while 2 little girls were playing underneath. This is what happened:
I have no idea what their names are, I know nothing about their personalities nor who their parents are. But these two girls reminded me so much of my childhood, about connection and envisioning adulthood.
Watching these two girls, I had the sudden realization that when we play, we create an imaginary vision of life. So why we stop playing when we become adults? Does it mean we stop dreaming?
When I joined my son on the playground with the intention of playfulness, he allowed me to enter in his world and we instantly became attuned. That afternoon, we ran, observed our surroundings and pushed each other on the swings. Something so ordinary felt so natural, timeless and profound.
I was deeply moved by these two girls and I suggest you try this simple exercise and see for yourself:
Observe children (or your own child) and imagine the world seen through their eyes. I guarantee you that within a few moments, you’ll better understand how they are experiencing the world around them and how you can better accompany them.
I suspect that Larry Cohen’s “Playful Parenting” book primed me to make these observations. Therefore I highly recommend learning more about the benefits of incorporating playfulness as a powerful parenting tool.
I would love to know know what strategies you use to turn parenting into a game. Feel free to comment!