“It’s okay.” “I’m with you.” “It’ll all be fine.” ~ Why Children Need to Hear These Words More Than You May Know

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“It’s okay.” “I’m with you.” “It’ll all be fine.” ~ Why Children Need to Hear These Words More Than You May Know

“New research at Stanford University encouraged middle school teachers to take on an ‘empathetic mindset’ when students were being disciplined. The study found that the number of pupils who were suspended across the academic year halved, from 9.6% to 4.8%.” ~ Study: Focus on Empathy, Not Punishment, Improves Discipline We all know how well children saturate themselves in the present moment. Lost in doodling, leaves, bugs and clouds, the present moment wraps itself around young ones like a warm, secure blanket. Here children enter a deep state of relaxation where they trust all is good in life. One reason children rest so well in presence is because they rest well in their heart. The heart dwells in what I call the “zero point”: The child […]

Children Hear “No” a Lot! So How About Giving Them a “Yes Day”?!

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Children Hear “No” a Lot! So How About Giving Them a “Yes Day”?!

“The moment I decided to follow instead of lead, I discovered the joys of becoming part of a small child’s world.” ~ Janet Gonzalez-Mena   A friend of mine parents with a playful touch, and she does so, in part, by offering her kids a Yes Day! Read below and watch above for the details. This may inspire you to say No a little less and Yes a whole lot more! Here are the wise words of Juliette Woods: Today at our house was “Yes Day!” It’s a day once a year when I say Yes to everything my children ask for. (There are a few ground rules around legality, safety, cost, etc.) They get my full attention, there is always laughter and play, and extra snuggles; […]

We Pine for Fridays Because We Live Separate from Ourselves and Life

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We Pine for Fridays Because We Live Separate from Ourselves and Life

The act of throwing ourselves to the pavement and into a frenzy because, at long last, we’ve reached Friday is outdated and needs ending. This myopia says much about the maturity of Western society, and how much we compartmentalize our lives, separate ourselves from joy, family, friends, nature, our gifts, values, intuition, a deeper calling, and much more.   Personally, I am glad I no longer crave Friday nights, nor loathe Monday mornings. I am grateful I cannot separate work from play, professional from personal, and that I continuously fail to know if it is a statutory holiday. Each day unfolds into the next as though it is one continuous movement that cannot be broken down into fragments that split me apart, leaving bits of me shattered and […]

There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

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There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

“All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Butler The other day I overheard a mother say to her son, “Oh, you’re just being silly, aren’t you?” He was goofing off and giggling in the most delightfully innocent and innocuous of ways. The mother’s tone was kind and intention heartfelt. But there was something stirring in her word “just” that struck me deep, an old shallow story that still saturates adult minds. That play is somehow frivolous is a belief still holding true for many. And yet ask any adult how hard play is for them. Ask them how easily they let themselves sing and dance spontaneously, how freely they dream, how fully they give themselves […]

Why We Need to Initiate Play More Than Ever!

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Why We Need to Initiate Play More Than Ever!

Consider this: The average child spends up to 8 hours a day on technology. It’s addictive nature, combined with the increasing busyness of our lives, makes it difficult for parents to pull children away from their screens, and get them playing. And yet, it is more necessary than ever to do so! The more the toy does, the less the child does. I was recently invited to a dinner party at a friend’s place. One of the adults there – also a friend – brought her two young girls with her. Instead of doing the adult thing and chit chatting around the dinner table, I played with the girls… for four hours! We played hide and seek, turned yoga blocks into boats and forts, created […]

How to Turn a Snake into a Sword ~ From Reasoning to Playing Along

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How to Turn a Snake into a Sword ~ From Reasoning to Playing Along

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt A three-year-old girl was attempting to play with her older brothers who were messing around with swords. The mother didn’t know why she was bothering her brothers’ boyish fun, and was tempted to redirect her to something more suitable. In that moment, however, she caught herself. She went on to say, “Instead of reasoning, I met her in her world.” The daughter had a toy snake in her hand, and the mother moved next to her and suggested that maybe she could use it as a sword. She played along with her daughter’s imaginative impulses, and validated her in the process. Mom parked her […]

3 Places to Hide

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3 Places to Hide

One of my favourite ways to play is to hide on others. Those closest to me know I like to disappear, and then suddenly jump out from behind a tree or from under a stairwell, and of course, joyously scare them! How fun!! Well, just in case you need a few more ideas, here are three places to hide that I particularly like. 1. In the Elevator                       My friend Ross spontaneously decided to play Hide and Seek with his boys in the elevator. To his delight, they played along, scurrying around, trying to find a hiding spot! One of my participants who I shared this story with decided to try this with her son. […]

This or That ~ A Simple Way to Play

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This or That ~ A Simple Way to Play

What do you prefer? This or That? Bananas or Apples? Star Wars or Star Trek? Cats or Dogs? Movies or TV? This or That is a simple and engaging game that people of all ages love to play. One person says two related objects or topics of interest, and the other people say what their preference is. It’s that simple! Try it in the car with your son, at the dinner table with your family, or at the start of your meeting with your team. You will be surprised at how much it raises everyone’s spirit, how quickly you get to know one another, and how pleasantly addicting the game is! Variation: If you had to give up something, what would it be? Breakfast or […]

Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

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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 […]

Just Follow Play Date

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Just Follow Play Date

One of my playshop participants recently told me a great way to have a play date. Her daughter sent her a written invitation to play in her room at a specific date and time. A sign was placed on the door asking not to be disturbed during their play date. Once in the room, she simply followed how her daughter wanted to play. If her daughter wanted to comb her hair, she happily played along. Mom practiced The Spirit of Yes And and joyfully danced with her daughter’s playful agendas. Imagine how much this meant to her daughter. Set up a play date with a loved one and simply follow. Consider it a waltz into the unknown where the thrill of adventure lies; where control […]