So, yes, it’s tough being a kid. But what can you do about it? At least they don’t have to worry about a boss and bills to pay and taking care of little growing human beings!! Well there is something you can do to help make all this change that kids naturally experience feel easier. And, surprise surprise, it involves play.
Playlistening is the Hand in Hand Parenting Tool that engages the healing power of laughter to help children work through challenges and feel more powerful in their world. Feeling more powerful leads to higher self esteem. Higher self esteem means a child that perseveres more when the going gets tough and is more resilient when they fail. And let’s be honest, success involves a lot of failure.
Here is how to playlisten with your child:
But not through tickling. Tickling can in fact create more feelings of powerlessness. Instead, find the gleam in your child’s eye and go for it.
Play the less powerful role.
Let them be the king or queen and you the willing servant. And incorporate themes about what your child is struggling with. Getting to be in the more powerful role in regard to a challenge helps children feel more in control of their lives and more able to meet the day.
Here is an example with an older child:
S. is a 12 year old boy. He is super intelligent, a wiz with the computer, and has trouble following his mom’s instructions. They get into fights, usually in the morning over the routine. One day I came over and he and his mom had a bad fight that morning. I engaged him in one of his favorite games. He throws a ball against the wall and I try to get it from it. We always end up rolling on the floor fighting for the ball, peels of laughter coming from both of us. This day after he was warmed up with laughter I asked him to tell me exactly what he would like to say to his mom, totally uncensored. He unleashed his thoughts with a huge grin on his face and I acted the part of his mom, only in a very exaggerated evil villain sort of way. We yelled back at each other for a few minutes until it turned into a knock down fight, again laughing all the way.
He knew it was play. He knew he can’t talk to his mom that way and he knew exactly how to control his body to keep it playful, just like my nephew did when we played. No one got hurt. But in both these instances these children got to express what was being bottled up and do it with laughter with someone who cares about them. And that’s the crux of Playlistening.
Get your child to laugh, usually by laughing at yourself. And connect through that laughter to the love that is underneath the anger, the pain, the tears.
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