Everyone deserves a break from their daily routine. That includes both parents as well as children. For atypical kids, it’s especially refreshing to be released – if only for a few weeks – from the regimen of school, tutors, therapies and commitments. It is also a time for parents to refresh their relationship with their children. Too often, parents end up feeling like drill sergeants, marching their kids from one activity to the next, day after day of the unforgiving lineup of daily activities. Winter break is a time to replenish your bond with your child, to change hats from drill sergeant to an attuned parent who can actually engage, have fun and creating lasting memories.
“I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO HAVE FUN WITH THIS CHILD”
How to play with your child can be tricky. How does a parent suddenly switch hats, and rebound from their own sense of burnout in order to have a few great weeks of bonding time? The simple release from daily activities is insufficient, in fact, some kids can feel rudderless without their daily routine and don’t know what to do with themselves. Parents, too, have often lost the art of play as they have slid into adulthood with its myriad of responsibilities, deadlines and managing little one’s temper tantrums. Atypical kids are notorious for having difficulty with ‘typical’ fun activities, either from sensory overload, a preference for their own comfort zone or fear of the unknown. If you are a parent of an atypical child, you know all too well the disappointment from previous attempts as ‘having fun’.
DON’T FAKE IT
Here is an article in the Christian Science Monitor in which I and other professionals and parents discuss the options available to rediscover your sense of play. In short, you can’t fake it. Your child knows you well enough to know if you feel awkward playing catch or find a video game monotonous. Finding an activity that both you and your child mutually enjoy together can become a cherished memory. It doesn’t have to be Disneyland or a trip around the world to click. Sometimes, a mindful walk through the park picking leaves can be bonding, nourishing and…. fun!
KEEP IT FUN, KEEP IT SIMPLE, AND GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER PLAYFULNESS
Read on for more tips on learning how to play with your child and how to keep it fun and simple: