Archive for the ‘Play’ Category
Unlike adults, kids don’t wake up in the morning wondering what work they will get done today, but what Adventure awaits them! If adults don’t help create constructive adventure for them, they will create their own! (And it may not be healthy, safe or constructive!) Why do you think kids make tents out of blankets or forts out of empty boxes? Why do boys turn sticks into swords and girls turn dolls into princes destined to come and rescue them?
Why do kids always ask,
- “Where are we going today?”
- “When is our next trip?”
- “What are we going to do today?”
They want Adventure! Dads who CREATE a SENSE of ADVENTURE for their kids are dads who make every day count – and the best news is that you don’t have to go camping or to a baseball game or an amusement park to go on an Adventure with your kids! While these “Big Adventures” may end up being the highlight of the year, it is the “little adventures” that will set you apart from other dads and be the highlights of your relationship with your kid(s).
HEAR ME: ANY DAD can drop some money and take his kid(s) on a Big Adventure, but only the Best Dads make time for the little daily adventures, and those dads have the closest relationships with their kids. Why?
Here is a SECRET not enough dads learn: Strong relationships are built by lots of short fun times, not rare big times.
It’s not hard to be adventurous with your kids! It’s more of an attitude than what you actually do… kids aren’t looking at the size of the event or the cost, they are only focused on the fact that it is with you, your excitement level, and your enthusiasm! Your tone of voice and leadership is more important than any price tag!
You can have:
- Adventures around the house, hiding, hunting for things, playing and pretending!
- Adventures around the neighborhood – walking, riding, playing, serving!
- Adventures around the community – shopping, errands, exploring, serving, playing!
- Adventures around the state – before they are grown and gone, find cool places to go and explore!
And what is your purpose? To show them God in as many ways as possible.
You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.
- Deuteronomy 4:35
God is a God of Adventure! He made a world filled with Adventure! He made life exciting! He created places to explore, He created opportunities to serve people, He created beauty and hints of Himself everywhere. All of this He did to give us just a teaser of what is to come. After all, He told us no matter how much of His Creative Majesty we experience here on earth, it is NOTHING compared to what is to come!
However, as it is written: ““No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 TLT
We create Adventure for our kids because we want them to fall in love with life! We want them to know that LIFE is an Adventure and that God has an Adventure of a Lifetime awaiting them if they will follow Him and trust Him. If we bore them, they will seek fulfillment outside of us and our values… and it will lead to a life of pain and emptiness and a life outside of God’s Plan for them. Dads – this is your calling – to lead your kids on the right Path in life. It will be the ultimate evaluation of your life.
Do you see? The calling of a father to lead His children toward Godly Adventure is more than just about being a “fun Dad” – it is about drawing them toward God and the Adventure that awaits a life lived well. It is about the Adventure of being a dad who is the Dad Today, and not just on those “Big Adventures” a few times a year – but everyday asking, “How can I make TODAY an Adventure for my son or daughter?”
Are you up for the Adventure, Dad?
When is the last time your KIDS laughed so hard they cried?
When is the last time you got so silly your WIFE yelled at you?
That is when you score truly big points with the kids! Silliness is next to godliness when it comes to your children! A silly dad is better than a cool dad any day! Making faces, dressing up, doing things incorrectly, falling down or out of your chair says you are able to laugh at yourself.
As dads we want to look like we are in charge. Relax. They KNOW you are in charge. What they want to know is if you can chill and have a little fun. Well, can you?
Act like a kid for a change!
The Apostle Paul said in the Bible:
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
- I Corinthians 9:22
In other words – he was willing to change, to become like those he wanted to reach – in order to connect with them. He never betrayed who he was, but he was willing to adapt and adjust to make a connection with those he wanted to relate to.
Do you want to connect with your kids?
Do you want to relate to your kids?
Then lighten up! Get silly! Have fun and goof off! Don’t be so stinkin’ serious all the time.
“Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.”
“God give me patience, but give it to me NOW!”
“I’m so efficient, I can watch 60-Minutes in a half hour!”
As men, we are in such a hurry. In fact, we’ve gotten so good at it – sometimes we have forgotten why we were in a hurry in the first place! Believe it or not, there are some days – whole weeks even – where there isn’t truly anything urgent, but we just feel urgency because we’ve conditioned ourselves that way! It’s become our default mode.
Don’t get me wrong – there are times we need to get it in gear! There are deadlines. Stress will never be eliminated. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent state of mind, and it CAN be set aside.
AND IT MUST BE when we are with our kids.
- Your child can sense when you are rushed.
- Your child can tell if you’d rather be elsewhere.
- Your child knows if something is more important than him.
- Your child senses if you are wanting to get away from her.
Our impatience is a sign that we have lost sight of what truly matters – of what will last – of what we will miss someday. And of unrealistic expectations on our children. The Bible says:
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
- Proverbs 14:29
We are foolish when we are impatient with our kids, because we display a lack of understanding for what they are capable of – but worse, we drive a wedge in our relationship with them. When we are patient we create the opportunity to invest in the relationship by to deepening their love for us. Why? When we are relaxed and more concerned about them than the clock, we show that they are important to us and have value.
As men we want to be STRONG! But too often, we think that strength is best shown in taking charge and getting our kids to hurry up. The truth is, that strength may be better shown in sitting down and being patient. Consider the words of a great King who once penned these words:
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
- Proverbs 16:32
So the next time your kids are driving you nuts and you think you are about to lose it, sit down and be patient. Be that calm, quiet, patient warrior and realize – all too soon the house will be quiet, and the patience you will be working on, is waiting for them to come visit you and bring the grandchildren.
So sit down and watch them and enjoy. A patient dad will enjoy the sights and sounds of childhood, before they are gone.
You can say you love a kid a thousand times, but they’ll never believe it until you play with them! I’ve often said, “Play is the work of children.” What does this mean? For grown-ups, play is what we do when we take a break from work. Work, sadly, is our default mode. We get up and go to work. But once in a while, we take a break from work to play. Whether it is a short break at work, from work, or to get away from work on vacation. Play is an escape for us from a normal life of working. For our children, life is quite the opposite! Their default mode is play! They work too, but only when they have to, and it then requires that they take a break from play in order work! And can’t wait to get back to playing again! (Too bad we can’t be more like them!)
The dad who connects best with his kids is the one who learns how to connect with his children by making playing with his kids more his default mode, not a mode he has to switch to. When he is playful all the time – his kids feel loved, because they feel he is connecting with them on their level. This doesn’t mean he has to play all the time – he is their provider, he must work. But he can be playful whenever they are around and not be irritated by their playful spirit understanding that it is their natural way, and even join into it in little ways that show he understands and can enter their world easily and naturally while still being comfortable in his own. He can find little playful ways to join them, even if only for moments at a time.
The dad who is not too proud to get on the ground, laugh loudly or look rather silly, is a dad whose kids are going to feel loved and special. You never know what your kids have gone through during the day, and the dad who can make them laugh can turn everything around.
The Bible says,
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
What kind of dad do you want to be? One who dries up the spirit of your kids? Or one who is the medicine that cheers them up after perhaps a rough day? A playful dad is a dad who will brighten up their every day! Here is something to keep in mind when you play with your kids:
What makes for Positive P.L.A.Y.?
P = Purposeful Play – your goal is to connect with your kids and deepen your relationship with them while you play. Make sure you accomplish this while you play. Words of affirmation and affection during your play will make your play time purposeful.
L = Laughter -Laugh a lot. Roll around. Be silly. It doesn’t have to make sense. If you kid enjoys be tickled, work it in! Make your play time fun and memorable. Have code words for communicating when your tickling or wrestling is too much, but horse play and goofing off is one of kids’ greatest love languages. Love is also spelled “TIME” – and laughter filled time is the best time spent.
A = Active playing not passive playing. Sitting with your child while they play doesn’t count! You need to be engaged. Grab the toys and play along. They can tell if you are engaged or faking it. Role play, do voices, act things out, tell stories and get in to it. Embarrass them if you must, but you are your child’s favorite playmate. And you are earning the right to be the one they go to later when they need help and counsel. Invest in that relationship now by being engaged in what is important to them now, as simply or silly as it may appear to you now.
Y = Yield your agenda. You may have had plans or ideas for this time together, but let your child be in charge. If they keep changing their mind, it’s O.K. Usually you are in charge and giving the instructions. This is their time. They may even test you when you say that you want to play with them and let them take the lead. Show some humility and willingness to follow. They will love it.
If you will Be Playful – you will make everyday count with your children!