All People Who Love, Play!
Seek opportunities to play with you children. That is what people do when they love each other… they play! All too often we find parents who take the job too seriously. They seem to think that every conversation has to be loaded with lots of guidance and advice. That is not true. Play and laughter is a great way to build a relationship with a child. (It is also a great way to extend our own childhood!) Just let your hair down and play with your kids, for no other reason than to have some fun.
Don’t Wait… Play Today, and Play Every Day!
I learned way too late in life that adults could buy water balloons too! Imagine this: You have left work early some sunny afternoon and you have filled up 30 water balloons and you have them in a bucket on the roof where you are hiding in wait for the school bus to drop the neighborhood kids off at the corner. As the kids unload you start launching your ammo at them. Did you know that you can get about six in the air before the first one lands? By then you are out of sight and the projectiles begin to hit. All of the kids are dodging and tryint to find out where they are coming from.
Then one of the kids spots you on the roof as you continue the bombardment. I will guarantee you that not one kid at the bus stop will be telling your kid, “Your dad is so dumb!” what they will be saying is, “Your dad is so cool, my dad would never throw water balloons at us from the roof… let’s get him!”
Play at Every Opportunity
My gosh, turn off the stove and go out and make a snowman! It is snowing! And in the life of an eight-year-old that is exciting and fun… and it is fun for parents too. Dinner can wait. As a matter of fact, a late dinner might be really fun for the whole family.
Play tricks on your kids and let it be known that you are fair game for tricks. Short sheet their beds, put surprise toys in their shoes, put blocks of wood in their sandwiches, and get ready for some fun tricks to be played on you. (It might be necessary to establish some rules and guidelines for tricks because they might get out of hand.) Don’t be surprised if you try to get up from Thanksgiving dinner and find that someone has been under the table and tied your shoelaces together.
In the process of the laughter you have established a relationship of laughter and fun in your family and with your kids. Play is magic for building lasting relationships. Remember that the ones that you laugh with are usually the ones that we seek out in times of difficulty. If you have built a tradition of laughter with your kids don’t be surprised if your kids come to you during times of need or tragedy.