Yesterday I was at a training on boundaries and harassment in the work place. Normally, this type of training would not have much overlap with information I would find useful to share with you in our school blog, however, I was fascinated when the discussion started with the presenter saying to a room full of adults (mostly ministers) that free-play is necessary throughout life in order to maintain personal happiness and fulfillment. I couldn’t agree more.
The need to engage in enjoyable, sometimes unstructured, self-directed activities is as basic and required as any of our other needs. What activities we choose for “free-play” usually change as we get older—but the need is still there. It is easy to get swept up in lots of other things when you are a parent. We protect our children’s needs as a priority. We may even place our children’s wants on a list above our own personal needs. Yesterday was a reminder to me how important it is to meet our needs, in order to be the best adult role-models for our children. One of those needs, even for adults, is free-play. It might be reading a book, going to your Orange Theory class, attending a concert, or dancing in your living room. Whatever it is, add it to your calendar and make sure your children see you taking care of your needs too!