Children love to play. Children learn through play. Good thing I like to play! I play a lot.
A couple of nights ago, my youngest was up late into the night, close to 10pm or a little after 10pm. She decided when she fell asleep at 8pm that she would just take a quick nap. Looking back, I think about why she was up so late and her needs at the time. I was reminded that each of my children require some sort of connection such as a one-on-one time specifically with mommy and daddy. Each one of the girls also require rough play-not the peek-a-boo or reading to her but a rough and tumble, tickle, roll around kind of way.
I believe that all children need some rough play with mom AND dad. Betsy required it from both of us during her one-on-one time–her time just happened to be late into the night. We did not deprive her of it. She was giggling up a storm! I am sure we had some love hormones rushing through our bodies to hear her and see her in that way. Smile stretching from ear to ear. Laughter slapping the walls. Love growing in her heart. Brain connections growing. Bonds in the making.
My charge to parents both new and seasoned: connect with your children. If you’re in the early years: get on the floor, down to level/height. Play, chase, tickle, hug and give lots of kisses. Remember that you get to do this! Remember that you’re firing off some wonderful connections in your child’s brain. God entrusted you with this child, love him or her well!
If your child is school-aged: please, study him or her and know the love language that speaks to him or her. Aim for a few things a day to fill that love tank: hugs, kisses, high fives, tickles, coloring, hide-and-seek. Your child longs to play with you (still).
If your child is in middle school–feed him or her (go on dates). Enjoy some outside time. Build memories. Crack a corny joke. Make them roll their eyes in a good way.
If your child is in high school–let them ask you some hard or crazy questions. If you know the answer, tell them by teaching and discovering the truths and reasons together… let them glean from you and know they still have a parent and a friend.