August can be a time of big transitions. The days are getting shorter and in many families, the first preparations for school are beginning. It can be really busy! Sometimes when there is a lot to be accomplished, adults in the family take their responsibilities seriously and focus on getting things done. Many of us show up as “human doings” instead of “human beings”. This is an invitation to make sure there is time each day to pause and connect with your children and what is really important. You can fit connection into your day pretty easily – but it requires paying attention. Here are some ideas:
- Be in the moment. When you hug your child be there. Really. Not on the way to something else.
- Let some spontaneity in to your schedule. Are you listening to the radio while you are getting ready for dinner and hear a song that makes you want to stop and dance? Do it. Invite your children to do it with you.
- Share some of your story. Our children love to hear stories about how life was like back when we were little. What was your favorite summer memory from then? What is theirs?
- Share gratitude. “I feel really grateful that I had time to snuggle with you this morning before we started our day.” “I feel joyful when our family is outside playing together”.
- Have fun. What is fun for your family? Playing catch? Shooting hoops? Charades? Card games? I spy while you are on a car trip?
Play is good for the human brain. Play can:
- Relieve stress. Play can stimulate the release of the bodies natural “feel good” hormones, endorphins.
- Improve brain function. Solving puzzles or doing fun activities that challenge the brain improves brain function.
- Boost creativity and mental flexibility. We all learn a new tasks better when we are safe, relaxed and the activity is fun. Play can also stimulate imagination and problem solving.
Enjoy the last days of summer!