“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
George Bernard Shaw
For the last 18 months (or 5 terms in teacher speak) I have been studying for a PGCE to qualify me as a primary school teacher!
I have now finished the study so time to look for a job! This will kick off the start of the NQT year which I have to complete and pass to actually be a real teacher.
It has been a tough 18 months and no denying it! I think every emotion possible has been experienced. One of the main drivers behind embarking on teaching as a career was so that I could have the school holidays off with the children and not miss out on all important family time.
Family time has however been squeezed in the process as, when weekends were once spent having fun days out or relaxing at home, we have had chores and errands to run as well as planning lessons for the following week. All sensible, grown up (boring) things. However it has given me a new career path to explore though and who knows where it will lead!
New research from fun loving cruise experts, Royal Caribbean, showing that 31% of adults think their life is too serious, struck a cord with me as I realised that being playful is actually so important especially when your children are young and actually want to spend time with you! Royal Caribbean define playfulness as the ability to act carefree and fun – basically your shoe size. That makes me age 7 so around the same age as my children. Cool!
Often when the boys are home from school they are usually switched on to their devices or the TV and I am busy making dinner (as they are always ravenous!). This time to unwind is good but it does eat into time for us to play together. I do try to put on the “Disney” mum act and be smiley and fun which is a challenge when you are tired and a titchy bit stressed!
As we get older and take on more responsibilities the push to be sensible and thus less fun is there and I think we do forget how to play. Look how much our children love it when we do make the effort to act our shoesize though..
There are also plenty of benefits to our own health by kicking back and acting our shoesize once in a while. The research shows you are more relaxed, less stressed and have a more positive attitude – all good things!
Holidays are, of course, the best time to be more relaxed and release your playful side. We are out of the usual routine and have time to relax. Although as a teacher you have relatively long holidays (and yes I know “we need them”!) I have also got to be conscious of how we don’t all get as many days leave. My husband has much less of an allowance so the days we do have together are so much more precious and we want to make the most of the time we do have off from work (leaves Royal Carribean brochures around for him to peruse).
Sometimes, however, we all need a little reminder that life is too short to be sensible all the time and we need to make sure we add a touch of playfulness into our lives. This is after all what makes their memories! Here are some ways you can surprise your children with your fun side…
- Chase them in the supermarket with the trolley (this is probably best done on a very quiet day than a busy Saturday afternoon!)
- When they are all tucked up in bed and relaxed give them a little tickle to make them giggle (my mum did this to me and I do it too my two and they love it).
- When something goes wrong and you feel stressed try and see the funny side (difficult at times I know!) and make a joke out of it all.
- Play music and do silly dances with your children.
- Ditch the screens and get out the board games (we try to do this once a week but sometimes it is less – mummy fail!).
What would you add to the list? Are you playful with your children? Would love to hear some thoughts on this research!