Michele Coleman, Ph. D. LMFT
More on play. Did you discover your play personality? Now that you know how you enjoy yourself, have you been playing more? In his book, on Play, Dr. Brown states that play starts in the part of the brain responsible for survival. Our children who have experienced abuse and neglect in their early childhood, live in their survival brain. Even though they are no longer living in a hostile environment, their brains are constantly scanning for threats. One way to calm the brain and help your child learn that being in relationship with an adult caregiver can be nurturing and fun is to play with your child.
My play personality is Kinesthete and Explorer. My 15 year-old son must share the kinesthete play personality type because he loves to play jacks with me. We sit on the back porch, throwing up the ball and laughing as the jacks either make it into our hands or escape our hands scattering across the ground. It does not even seem to matter who wins because simply being together, laughing and playing is part of the fun of connecting.
Do you remember what games you enjoyed as a child? When was the last time you played them? Do you remember how? In preparation for that precious addition to your family, what would it be like this holiday season to set aside some time to dust off those skills and play with your friends and family members? The brain loves positive connections and laughter produces nourishing chemicals in our body. I can think of no better way to celebrate the holidays with family and friends than playing some of our favorite games together. Try it, and tell me how it works out.