Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” ~ Richard L. Evans  

An interesting question to ask yourself is, How much did your parents play with you when you were a child? If you were one of the lucky ones, your parents played with you a lot. But for so many others, their parents were focused more on the responsibilities of being a parent than on being a playful companion.

This the difference between doing for and playing with. 

When we do for, we are less connected to the other, and more focused on an agenda in our minds such as driving our kids somewhere or cooking dinner. We are task oriented and in doing mode.

When we play with, we are more connected to the other, and are willing to share the agenda through co-creation – through the joyful sharing of ideas and in following the imaginative impulses of one another.

We go from I to We; from my thoughts and agenda to engaging the agendas and desires of each other.

A statistic to consider: At a conference I attended a few years back, the keynote speaker said that on average a mother connects with her child 3 minutes a day. For fathers, it’s 39 seconds a day. 

While it is true that we are busy and have responsibilities to meet, we can create a healthier balance between tasks and play by regularly asking ourselves, What is the most important thing I can give to my child right now – doing for or playing with? By asking this question you may open yourself up to the idea that maybe what you thought was a necessary responsibility is not quite as important as playfully connecting right now.

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” ~ Anonymous

For more of Vince’s writing, subscribe to his free e-newsletter.

*                   *                    *

Related Training:
Remembering to PlayInspiring Joy, Freedom & Self-Care

Related Reading:
Children Hear “No” a Lot! So How About Giving Them a “Yes Day”?!
Flour Play ~ Creating Memories through Simple Spontaneous Fun
Just Follow Play Date

Posted in Play and tagged , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *