Wendy Warner is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with couples, children, and individuals, Wendy also enjoys teaching the premarital classes for all couples planning to marry at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Macomb.
When was the last time you threw back your head and let out a belly laugh from having so much fun? Has it been a while? Unfortunately, with everyone’s busy schedules, it seems hard to find time to just play together as a family. But on our most recent family vacation, my favorite memory is the game of Pictionary that left us laughing so hard we were crying.
Play allows us to become childlike again, and it usually draws out even the quietest person in the room. Whether it is a silly game, jumping in a lake or riding bikes together, it changes the dynamic in the family. Instead of hurried mornings getting ready for school or parents nagging over chores, it allows parents and kids to be teammates, playmates.
Do your children ask you to play with them, and you just don’t have the time? Please believe me that the window of being asked to play soon closes. If parents have engaged in play with their kids while they grow up, the kids will want to stay connected to their parents even when they are able to leave the house. However, if the parent was not available, it should not be surprising that the teen has little interest to now hang out with mom and dad.
So get out your board games, break out the badminton, and spend time laughing with your kids on a regular basis. Connecting with your family through play brings out the best in everyone.