As adults, we are caught up in a fast-paced, busy, stressed and anxious culture of our day to day obligations. Finding a balance between work, play and other responsibilities is not always easy and we seldom have the time to simply pause and live “in the moment” without being consumed by the world we are in and what we need to do next.
As research informs us that play is essential in childhood, research also supports the importance of the continuation of play into adulthood to enhance our wellbeing and quality of life. Playing with children allows us the opportunity to pause and brings balance to our lives that we usually neglect and often need.
- Playing with children increases our mindfulness
In our daily activities, we are constantly thinking of “what next” and working toward very specific outcomes. Play, on the other hand, is about the process and not the outcome. This allows us to be present in active engagement with our children from one moment to another without rushing toward a desired outcome. Actively engaging in play for a few minutes a day could calm the mind and reduce stress.
- Playing with children helps us relax
As play is child-led, it allows adults for once to let go of the need to have control of everything we do and what is happening around us and simply observe and follow the lead of a child. We are usually so quick to have a plan to meet a desired outcome in all that we participate in, but through playing with your children we are allowed to surrender to the lead of the child and just follow.
- Playing with children helps our nervous systems
Actively engaging in play gives us the opportunity to see things from the child’s perspective enter their world of play. This builds connections and allows for bonding. Building connections with others releases endorphins which regulate our nervous systems and ultimately reduce stress and anxiety.
- Playing with children activates our creativity
Playing with our children allows us to be transformed into a world of imagination and unlimited creativity. Practising tapping into an imaginative world in play activities with children can be translated into other areas of our lives as we are reminded about the limitless creativity in what we do and how we live.
Playing is not only a pass-time for your child and a proven way to enhance their development. Playing with your child is beneficial for you too!
If you have any further queries on play and child development please visit My Online Therapist