We know that babies cries alert parents to their needs. How else could we know when they need comfort, food, changing? But children are just as in touch with what they need to survive and feel well, even if we, as parents, might not be as alert to their calls.
In this post, Brindusa Milasan describes how her child lead her to the play that she needed most.
“It was Sunday morning. We usually do Special time on weekends, and I wanted to offer it in the morning because we had some family plans for the afternoon. I wanted my kids to feel connected and to cooperate.
I did Special Time first with my son and then it was my daughter's turn. Surprise! She wanted to do Special Time with the whole family, not just me.
I talked to her brother and asked if he would like to be part of his sister’s Special Time, and explained that we would still do what she requested. He was happy to join us.
So all four of us started my daughter’s Special Time. First, she wanted us to play with a balloon, passing it from one to another like a volleyball. She had us switch positions and keep on playing. We were following her lead, having fun and laughing, and I was happy that my son was also OK with this.
After a while she wanted to play hide and seek. I was supposed to count to ten and then find them. I first found my husband (who didn't have the best hiding place), then my daughter (after passing by her twice–she was giggling that I didn't see her from the beginning), and lastly I found my son who was hard to find. My daughter was proud because she told him where to hide and it was such a good hiding place.
When the alarm went off we were all very happy, laughing and having lots of fun.
It was so good to all play together. The afternoon went smoothly, the kids cooperated, and we had a great time.
While thinking about this I was again amazed to notice that kids know exactly what they need.
These past weeks both my husband and I had spent time away from home on separate trips, so it had mostly been just 3 of us at home.
My daughter requested that we all play together, something that we'd missed over the past month. Also, she requested we play hide and seek, a game that helps children heal from the kind of separation anxiety that she had been a subject to in the past few previous weeks.
Thanks to her, I learn each day to trust my kids more, and to really listen to them.”
Special Time helps parents connect with their children. Find out How to Make the Most of Special Time, and get a free checklist.
Hide and Seek is a great game to work through separation fears. Find more playful ideas in 20 Playful Ways To Heal Separation Anxiety
Worried you don't know how to play? Find out about the mental blocks than can hold adults back from play, and get ways to break through them in What If I'm Just Not A Playful Parent?