I was looking out of my window one afternoon during the school run. As I observed parents taking their little ones from school, I saw two fathers on separate occasions running with their daughters. Their faces lit up with glee, indicating they were enjoying the experience of play. Play is such an important part of a child’s life and is in fact the language that they understand and communicate with the world. As parents we often forget the joy and healing that this activity can bring for ourselves and our children.
I train counsellors about the importance of play in the life of a child and as I watched these children playing with their fathers, I was inspired to remind parents about this important part of childhood development. So why is play so important for you and your child?
Playing is a how children naturally express themselves and interacts with their peers and the adults in their lives. Playing gives way for the release of pent up tension and anxiety that may be present. As parents we go on holiday when we feel stressed; so just think what it could be like if you and your child engaged in more play; an activity that will release your stress at a fraction of the cost.
Stress, tension and anxiety are major contributors of fractured relationships between children and their parents. . These fractured relationships then spill over into the wider community at school and at work. The family is always about interpersonal relationships and often when children have been referred for counselling, it is invariably about the interpersonal relationships, whether it is parent/child or child/siblings. The benefit of playing together could foster more wholesome and meaningful relationships.
Through play, children tell their stories… as a parent take time to really listen to the message in the story. This narrative could carry important messages for you. Through their play you could learn to better understand their internal world and offer an empathic response. Through play you can build a great relationship, important for a secure base as well as a healthy parent/child attachment resulting in them feeling a sense of security and safety; so reduce your focus on the problems… in some cases the problems that you are concerned about will be resolved using this indirect approach.
Sometimes as parents we forget how to play, or as a child you may have been denied this important stage of your development due to some adverse family issues or other factors. Learning how to play with your child from an early stage is a very effective way to reduce future problems in family life and even arrest the cycle of what may be unhealthy relationship pattern passing down to the next generation. Garry Landreth, a child therapist endorses this concerning how important this activity is for children and parents; he believes that parents can become skilled to be therapeutic agents in the lives of their children. Filial Play is just the way to get started; why not contact us to find out how you can enhance your family life through play.
Angela Sterling-Noel (MBACP, PG Cert.)
Your birthright is who you were born to be, it is your destiny. You were created with a destiny for greatness, you are unique and you are the only one on this earth that can fulfil what you are destined to do.
Is it possible that you exchanged your birthright for a lethal pill that has caused you to fall asleep? This lethal pill is full of lies about who you really are; and it is a pill that has paralyzed you out of action. Who told you that you can’t? Or who told you that you are not good enough? These lies are called limiting beliefs that stand in your pathway to greatness. I would like to challenge you to question these beliefs. Ask yourself about the consequences of holding onto these beliefs. Ask what will it cost my relationships if I do not let go of this belief? What will it cost me financially if I do not let go of this belief? How logical is this belief? How has this belief dis-empowered me? Can I model the person who I learnt this belief from? As you challenge and dispute these beliefs – replace them with positive beliefs and reclaim the birthright you were born with. Here are some ways to harness positive beliefs:-
Believe in yourself and that you have the power to control your own life, believe that you have the inner strength and resources deep down inside and let your faith show you the way forward. Use what you have in your hand (i.e. knowledge, skills and talent).
Affirm yourself- positive affirmations are empowering, they help you to feel good about yourself and help you to change the negative chemical imbalances of your brain. Change your thoughts from ‘I am not good enough’ to ‘I am good enough.’ Say to yourself I am good at … (name that thing you know you are good at).
Change your Emotional State by answering power questions. Answering these types of questions can be very influential in empowering you into positive action that lead to positive results and reinforces a powerful positive belief about yourself. Here are three power questions to get you started:
- What am I enjoying most in my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
- What am I committed to in my life right now? What about that makes me committed? How does that make me feel?
- What am I happy about in my life now? What about that makes me happy? How does that make me feel?
Change your vocabulary – it is the key to success and a powerful agent in the change process. Our beliefs are mostly influenced by the words we speak, as well as what we hear, and see. Mark Twain said:-
“A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of these intensely right words… the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.”
Change the things you read to positively influence your life. Listen to words that transcend a beautiful melody to the soul. This practice can only result in you speaking out positive and powerful words that you have been feeding your mind with. This will be your awakening to reclaiming the path towards your birthright. Here are some words to begin your journey with…
I am anxious to I am feeling concerned
I am irritated to I am stimulated
I am a failure to I am learning and growing
I am nervous to I am energized
See how different the use of positive vocabulary will impact your life and transform your destiny, leading you to living the life that you have dreamt of. Reclaim your birthright by challenging your beliefs, answer power questions and use positive vocabulary. It is time to wake up from your dreams and begin to live them out in your life.
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