The importance of play in childhood and adulthood

“The human only plays when he is free in the full sense of the word and is only fully human when he plays” -Friedrich Von Schiller

Do you remember the last time you played for the sake of playing?

We often relate play as something exclusive to childhood that only concerns this vital stage. But also, lately, we find that even children do not have time to play.

The game goes far beyond an educational and educational activity that entertains children or entertains adults. The game is on the list of evolutionary milestones that we must cross throughout our development, Such as the goal of learning to walk.

Notice that chimpanzees, dolphins, dogs, lions, among many animals, play until they get old and die. Thus, play transcends culture, play is necessary for development and we must never stop doing it, in the same way that we never stop eating, walking or talking.

    Play and expression

    While playing, we express ourselves and give freedom to our body and mind. Gambling is an achievement mechanism that we atrophy ourselves over the years.

    We will call the game “realization machinery” because it allows us to see ourselves, to know ourselves, to explore, it allows us to realize ourselves, to be freer and to develop and discover our full potential. If we atrophy all this, we are reduced to being more manipulable people, disconnected from ourselves, our body, our emotions and especially our sensations. Those that allow us to act regularly, to understand each other, to know what we need and why we need it.

    Playing brings us closer to the present moment, because it is one of the few experiences made for the simple pleasure of doing it and not for the result. or by what is achieved. And that, every moment that we are connected to right now, is happiness.

    The game allows the free emergence of our being, of what we need to draw and express, opens up our spontaneity by aligning the mind, emotion and body. All these emotions that we accumulate, tensions, anxiety symptoms, headaches, among others, can be released in moments of play.

    How do I get the game back?

    Collecting the game can be a little daunting task for some. The good news is that we are designed and prepared, as a species, for this! Why can it cost?

    Having been inhibited for so long, unconscious fears of being real and spontaneous can arise. They often appear in the form of blockages, such as discomfort when playing or laughing. Why do we cover our faces so often when we laugh, if it’s wonderful?

    In addition, we often find that we have replaced “pleasure” with “duty” and this comes with a number of beliefs which can be very limiting when it comes to hearing doubts about “what”. that’s right “and” what’s wrong “when deciding where to invest my time.

    Expressive therapies are ideal for anyone who has not played for a long time. For example, art therapy as a means of connecting with oneself, laughter therapy as a practice of “letting go” and “letting go”, dance therapy as a means of becoming aware of the body and of letting go. release blockages.

    Benefits of sharing the game with our children

    By giving children free time and space to play, we allow their development to be much richer. They can explore, they can experience roles that are not theirs but that they need to feel, they can discover themselves and above all they can release and express everything that they do not know how to do with words or that they don’t even understand. again.

    On another side, as a parent, being able to share moments of free play with your child brings many benefits to bonding and affection. When I say free play, I mean a game with no patches and no judgment. A game in which only intentional attention is given to pleasure, pleasure, laughter, physical contact, look and above all unconditional love.

    Sharing this type of game is to ensure the safety of our child, to give him confidence, to explore and express him. We will make him understand that he cares about us, that we like to know more about him, that his company is kind to us, that it is important for him to speak up and that he agrees for him to do. . We will validate your emotions and free you from unpleasant feelings so that you are not sure if you can feel what you are feeling. And with all of this, we will also be building a healthy inclination between mother / father and child.

    Developing healthy affection is one of the most essential aspects of the kind of relationships our children have and will have with the world, with reality, and with the people around them.

    What games can I play with my children?

    Sometimes we tend to believe that the best activities for our children are the ones that are very new and developed. Let’s break with this myth, games don’t have to be like this.

    They can be games as simple as singing a song, dancing, playing with eyes, guessing with closed eyes when the other person’s finger reaches one of my arm joints, each drawing a picture of the other, guess flavors, smells, textures, objects with covered eyes, talk imitating an animal, pretend to be an animal, plant, object, firefighter, teacher or any other profession, guess movies or fictional and cartoon characters, do a chain of massages, among many others.

    All of these games mentioned above are not only games that barely require hardware, but also these are very stimulating games for our children and for ourselves. With them, in addition to benefiting from everything mentioned in the previous paragraphs, we will be sensorially stimulating, bringing them more bodily self-awareness which will later serve them for greater emotional self-regulation.

    So we saw why the game is necessary for good development, what benefits we get from sharing the game and the importance of maintaining it throughout our lives.

    Now it’s just a matter of playing, enjoying and feeling!

    “The child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost the child who lived in him and who will be sadly missed” -Pablo Neruda

    • Author: Coral Rodríguez. Child and Child Psychologist at ARA Psychology. Specialist in behavioral disorders, emotional management and mindfulness.

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