Learning to Play: Lessons to learn myself!

Having watched a DVD on Unconditional Parenting, a lecture given by Alfie Kohn a wonderful discussion has followed between some of my natural parenting friends and I.  [Alfie Kohn's website: http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.php ]

One friend and myself were both saying how sometimes we as adults 'forget' how to play or don't like to play.  And it's something I've been thinking about for a great many months on my own.  

I need to play more with my children.  I need to recapture my own childhood and live it with them, along side of them.  Use my imagination again.  Lose track of time, get messy and giggle like there were no other cares in the world.

More often I find myself saying "go play while I clean...while I cook....while I do this or that..."  When in reality I could be incorporating them more into my life!  I didn't have children to fit them into my life.  I had children to grow WITH them, learn WITH them, laugh, cry, shout, whisper...all WITH them.  I didn't have children to fit them into my own mold, but to help them discover their higher purpose so that they may help their fellow man or woman. 

All too often I lose sight of that though and have to step back and remind myself.

The first step goes back to play.  Playing.  Being with my children on their level.  

As my friend and I talked we both admitted that too often we censor their imagination and play time because it's not convenient for us.  It's too dirty, too messy, too time consuming, too "childish".  

Since when was parenting ever supposed to be convenient?   When was it NOT supposed to be dirty, messy, time consuming and even childish?

And ultimately I have to tell myself I AM a parent, I signed up for this. It's not a part time thing, not a "when I feel like it" thing...it's FULL time. I eat sleep breath it. They are mine and my husband's, they've been gifted to us to help them discover themselves in a great big world and their purpose.

People talk about children needing to respect their parents.  But I've found that if I want my children's respect, I need to earn it just as they need to earn mine.  And for me that begins with loving them unconditionally and getting 'down in the dirt' with them.  Let them know that I AM there every step of the way.  In good times, in bad.  In stressful times and happy ones!

It's time to play!  This summer as I'm finally home with them I'm concentrating on doing homeschooling activities to keep their minds working and I'm concentrating on myself.  On learning to be that child again, learning to play.

I'm going to live vicariously through this summer as we embark on some exciting journey's that will take us to the mouth of a volcano [as we make molded clay one!]....As we discover all the brilliant and beautiful colors that have been created while we make rainbow crayons...As we discover the age of dinosaurs and create a scene in a diorama!  [Thanks Ellynne D.!  ;) ]...And as we learn about the health of our bodies and eating our fruits and veggies...creating wonderful works of art with those fruits and veggies!

I'm excited to dive in, to see what the summer has in store for my children and myself!  

And I pray that I have the strength, knowledge and wisdom to lead them on a wonderful and fantastic voyage! 

[Picture: finger painting on the driveway.  Overcoming my logical brain that says "what a mess"  and telling myself  "it's all washable!  Go have fun!"]


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