Coaching & Support Before, During, and After Adoption

A Place Called Home

by | May 8, 2013 | General Discussion

GIFT.Play.houseAll parents want their home to be a loving place. While, discipline is often considered one of the most important roles of parents, GIFT asserts, however, that playfulness serves an essential role for families, one that underpins attachment and success as a family. Kids are born to play.

Think about when you were a child. What kind of special place did you create where you played out your most powerful dreams? Was it a tree house? A play fort built from sofa cushions, or perhaps sheets thrown over chairs? The benefit of fantasy lies in its ability to transport us to an entertaining and pleasurable world. It reinforces a child’s sense of empowerment and capability.

As adoptive families how are you using fun and imaginative play to build connections with your children? Happy moments between parent and child provide an essential link connecting them together. As children understand that their parents care about their happiness, they begin to care about what parents value. By making deposits in the emotional bank account of the family, when it becomes necessary to enforce boundaries and limitations on their freedom, children care about and accept what parents have to say.

As children get older playfulness is just as important, especially when stress levels are high and consequences may become frequent. Always keep an element of joy and avoid falling into the trap of constant discipline unrelieved by positive interactions. Discouraged by constant punishment, kids feel like they are a disappointment and a failure. This creates a desire to separate from that feeling and from their parents.

Instead of projecting disappointment, sustain a message of unconditional love. Presuppose that things will work out. Reassure them that they are not their choices or behaviors. As a mother, use playfulness to nurture optimism. Playfulness keep you connected even during difficult times.

Would you please share your ideas on how playing as a family benefits your relationship?