I think we under appreciate the important role of play in our lives. And I think as the digital explosion gains pace, especially since covid, our ability and imagination to truely play has reduced. As adults we often think “I am too busy, too fraught or don’t have the time”.
But what actually is play? It can a variety of things. It could be going for a walk with the dog, five a side football, baking a cake, or playing an ever lasting game of Monopoly with our children. Is it more acceptable to call it leisure activities?
Why are we as adults so often dismissive of play?
Because of the association with children?
Or is it because it can be exposing?
Play for adults can trigger feelings we had as children, and as teens. I certainly remember and maybe you do, not being picked for teams, being left out or struggling to be creative when expected to.
Brene Brown (researcher and social work lecturer) discovered through interviews, that a significant proportion of the shameful experiences her interviewees, remember from school occur during art and creative lessons.
I think what is hard about play is that many of us were brought up to be perfectionists. Therefore playing in an unstructured way can feel really difficult. We might not do it correctlyt!? What are the rules?
How will we know when we are getting it right?
So maybe when we take risks, when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and we do play, it allows us to become better in tune with our adopted and fostered child.
Day to day life is so much about doing things we are familiar and comfortable doing. Yet growth is exactly the opposite!
And how positive a role model we become when we show our children we can also allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
If you are interested in finding out more about the importance of play, I am really excited to be training with Keeley Craw who is a qualified Play therapist, and parent who has worked with many different children in care. I have managed adoption recruitment, children in care and fostering teams.
Children learn through play. They experience the world through play. And they can start to understand their own challenges and the loss inherent in adoption, through play. So it is critical that as parents we speak the same language as our children do!
We are doing an Instagram Live, on wednesday 12th at 7.30 PM. At @diversityadopt.
We will also be presenting a webinar on Friday 14th May at 7.30 PM UK time (GMT +1), 5 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR CHILDS ATTACHMENT TO YOU. Places are booking up quickly.