“I blush to think of all the times I pushed my daughter away when she wanted to cuddle, because I was busy, or I thought she should be doing her homework, or I felt annoyed by her demands for attention. The other times I ask her how school is, and it’s like pulling teeth. I don’t always put two and two together. If I don’t connect on her terms, why should she connect on my terms?”
“I remembered all my conversations with parents about how much young boys loved to play with guns, and what (if anything) can or should be done about it. One thing I knew was the importance of making connection with these boys, to insert some connection into play, no matter how aggressive or solitary the play appears to be, because boys are especially prone to feeling isolated. And, of course, their aggressive play tends to isolate them more.”
“One of the basic rules of Playful Parenting…it works best when the adult provides the insistence on connecting, but the child actually sets the terms in how the two are going to connect.”
“If reconnecting is so great, then why is it so hard? When people disconnect, they often have to struggle through a pile of bad feelings, like terror, or abandonment, or loss, in order to restart a connection. Reconnecting can thus be painful emotionally, so children tend to avoid it. Adults often shy away from reconnection for the same reasons. The intensity of the feelings may be too much for a child, so they lock themselves deeper in the tower of isolation. Better to be lonely than to face directly all those tender feelings.” .
“In more ordinary, everyday types of interactions, play creates an opportunity to express love and nurturing, gently repairing the wounds of earlier conflicts and upsets.” .
More precious insights and words of inspiration from my #currentread : ‘Playful Parenting’ by Lawrence J. Cohen. I am only about 4 chapters into this book, but it’s already helping me immensely. It’s inspiring me to lighten up and engage with my children more playfully. And from what I can tell already, we are all enjoying more joyful moments of connection. I am also feeling less stressed overall ❤️