Dear FUUSN Friends and Families,
December can be an exciting and stressful time for families with so many important preparations to make, and exciting events to attend. It’s good to create some extra opportunities for quiet in the storm, and connection in the frenzy. One of the best ways to slow down and make space for connection with young people is to set aside time for play. This can sound like the last thing we busy adults have time for with all the demands of the holiday season, but time set aside for play promises to make the season a little sweeter.
Here’s something to try. Figure out how much time you have to play (it could be 10 minutes, 20 minutes or an hour). If you have multiple children it’s idea to offer this special time to them individually. Set a timer. Tell your child that you are dedicating that time to playing and paying attention just to them. Promise not to answer the phone or check email during this precious time. Let your child be in charge, following their lead in terms of the games they want to play and activities they want to do. Show your delight in them, their unique personality, creativity and ideas. Play hard if that is what they choose, running circles of chase around the house or wrestling on the bed. The time is limited, so it can feel easier to hang in there!
Sometimes offering this special attention makes space for feelings to come up. It’s great to stay close and just let the feelings come. If you try special playtime with your child this holiday season I’d love to hear how it goes!
In Faith and Community, Amanda Graff, Director of Lifespan Religious Education