I had the joy/challenge of having two of my nephews for the week. I was able to utilize, on many occasions, the need for playfulness when interacting with a child who has come from early trauma. I am amazed, overwhelmed, exhausted and baffled all at the same time with what is required in being “on your game” on this parenting journey.I have reminded myself so many times this week of this little one’s preciousness and knowing that he has been created by our wonderful Father and He knows him deeply. Sometimes it is difficult to keep this perspective when you have encountered the third challenge in 30 minutes. Trying to find ways to say “yes” in the little moments can be so hard when every request is not something that you yourself want to engage in within that moment. Being fully present and willing to do that activity requires the parent to put their own needs aside and see what it is that their child needs.
I have also experienced the need for playfulness. In that moment, when you might blow a gasket, making a joke really helps … surprisingly how much it can help! When you have asked your child not to enter a certain area (for their protection and for the protection of what is behind that door) and they continue to do it anyway … I don’t know why because I thought I might scream but instead I said “wow, it must have been the door fairy … I didn’t realize she was here today.” And in that moment, he laughed and said “there isn’t a door fairy” But you know what, after that moment, he was in a place where I was able to talk to him, and after that moment, a switch flipped, and his behavior changed … for the rest of the day, and the next day. What?? Really?? Just from being playful in a moment when he knew I wanted to scream at him? Yes, it really worked. It may not work tomorrow, but in that moment it worked, and it was worth it!
Check out this website and great information on how much playful interaction helps our kids!