Vacation Like a Kid

Admit it; we’re all jealous of our kids’ summer vacation. As a matter of fact, most of us mature responsible adults wish we had two months off with no deadlines, no pressure to stay alert during boring meetings, and no reason to get up at 5:30 a.m. and rush to the gym before catching the early train to work.

It this case your kids have the right approach. Hey, maybe you can even learn something from them. Take a break from being the parent for a day and be a kid again!

Get up late

Eat Cotton Candy

Blow bubbles

Send a Slinky down the stairs

Play jacks

Jump rope

Eat a sloppy drippy ice-cream cone

Play hopscotch

Nag your kids. Tell them you’re bored, there’s nothing good to eat, and no one to play with

Skip the make-up and the curling iron

Finally try to beat a Rubik’s Cube

Skip the shave and leave the stubble

Eat something really junky. I’ve been eyeing that new pizza surrounded by mini hotdogs.

Draw a chalk mural on the sidewalk

Build with Legos

Play with Playdough

Get a pad of art paper, some crayons, markers and color. Don’t worry about how it looks, just enjoy

Make a birdhouse out of popicle sticks

Put yourself first – not someone else

Buy some comic books, a Mad magazine, or a trashy novel

Whine to your friends about how your kids don’t understand you. Hey, you’re even old enough to add a glass of wine to your whining session.

And don’t think you’ll be wasting your valuable time. Play is serious business.

Since about 1955, the amount of time children have for free play has been steadily declining. During that same time, the incidence of adolescent depression, anxiety, and suicide has increased, according researcher Dr. Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College.

And the same is true for their parents. Just turn on the T.V. and see all the commercials for drugs that promise to make us happy.

If parents don’t know how to play, how can they teach their children?

It’s time we learned.

More and more research suggests that healthy playtime leads to healthy adulthood, and the need for playtime doesn’t end when we grow up. Adults need “recess” too, according to Dr. Stuart Brown, the Director of the National Institute for Play. “Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, and it takes you out of time. Remember, the act of play is more important the result. So don’t worry if your drawing isn’t a masterpiece or your playdough bear looks more like a lopsided snowman. Just get lost in the experience.

So go out and play. The benefits for you and your family are worth the time investment. And whatever you choose, don’t feel guilty. Remember, you’re doing important work!

 Rainbows and DogsHappy, healthy happy parents mean happy kids

About Anita Kulickhttps://anitakulick.wordpress.comPresident & CEO of Educating Communities for Parenting, Chair Pennsylvania Parenting Coalition, Contributing writer, Philadelphia Inquirer Healthy Kids

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