Why Should You Play with Your Kids?
My son came running around the corner of the house.
It was just as I had hoped. I gave a wild,
primitive yell as I sprang out at him. He hit the
ground quickly, trying to avoid my grasp. I reached
down and tagged him easily, and the burden of being
it was transferred once again.
As I searched for a new hiding place in front of
the house, my wife called from the front door.
Mark, its eight oclock, the kids
have to come in! I was a bit dumbfounded.
Wed been playing tag for two hours.
In those two hours, Id been unaware of
time. There were no worries about projects at work,
what time the kids needed to go to bed, or whether
we had enough money to last the month. My focus had
been on playing tag, and nothing else. And when
your focus is complete, youve entered a state
that has no limitations. Your joy and passion can
come alive, and your childrens can, too.
Being in a complete state of play is one of the
gifts our children give us. It is one of the ways
we can allow our kids to transform us. We are
transformed when we find the innate playfulness
thats within all of us, and we put our
adult worries aside. We are transformed
when we apply this creative energy to our
relationship with our children. And when we enter
this state of playfulness with our children,
weve entered their world in a way
theyll remember the rest of their lives.
For many years, athletes have trained to find
the optimal performance state called the
zone. When athletes are in the zone, they
perform at their highest levels, and feel a sense
of joy and positive energy. This same performance
state can be found before your interactions with
your children. And when it is, your relationship
will reach a higher level. Here are some guidelines
to reach a higher level of play with your kids:
Drop all work thoughts before you see your kids.
Exercise, meditate, or use some other technique to
allow your full presence after work.
Let your kids call the shots during your play.
If you have a need to control things, swallow your
urges and be ready to listen and learn.
Theyll let you know what they want.
Do a body scan before spending time
with your kids. Just like athletes, parents need to
determine if theyre ready for optimal
performance. Are you ready to play, or are you
feeling angry and agitated? Determine this first,
and take steps to ready yourself for play.
Make sure your kids have time for play. Take a
close look at their schedulespay attention to
their activities after school-- sports, TV, or
video time. Do you need to say no to
some of these? Have the courage to take strong
Put structures in place to ensure your work and
home life are separate. Take your work phone off
the hook, and avoid sneaking down to the computer
when your kids are present. Enlist your spouse to
help determine if youre fully present with
Research has shown that kids laugh about one
hundred times a day, and adults laugh about six
Isnt it time we started learning to even
things out a bit?
© 2008 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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