In recent weeks I’ve had something of an epiphany, realizing that everything I’m about – seriously, everything – comes down to the value of play.
This epiphany came about at the same time as I realized: I am growing, and changing.
You may not know this about me, but I’m so much more than a parent coach.
Yes, I teach important concepts for parents, like how to handle every temper tantrum (click here for the video to do this – and here for the five step checklist that comes along with the video).
Just last night in my 2021 Year of Empowerment program, I coached a parent on how to handle backtalk from her five-year-old.
These two ideas – that everything I’m about comes down to play, and that I am growing and changing – have collided for me in the form of the creation of a movement.
A movement is a vision of change for the world.
A vision for the future.
My vision is of:
– A kind world, where creativity is encouraged.
– Where every person has meaningful choices about how they spend their time.
– Where every person feels validated, believed in.
– Where rather than pushing down our emotions or our problems, we work together to lift each other up and solve our problems.
The vehicle for this movement? Play. Play, play, play play play.
The title of this email comes from a song.
It’s called “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” it’s 20 minutes long… It’s not particularly kid friendly (although my sons pointed out that they’ve listened to this song since they were nine and five respectively, so you’ll have to make your own decisions there.)
It’s one of my favorite protest songs ever.
Because that’s what it is, a song from 1967, protesting the Vietnam conflict and the draft. At one point Arlo Guthrie tells the audience “if you wanna end the war and stuff, you gotta sing loud!”
You may know that the quote I live by is by Brian Sutton-Smith, “The opposite of play is not work. It is depression.”
I think it’s time not for a protest against the opposite of play, however.
I think it’s time for a movement supporting play.
It’s time to restore play to its rightful place in the pantheon of human capabilities.
Our capacity to play is what helps us solve our problems, support those that we love and care about, find what we love to do, and feel happy inside.
Recently I asked a friend “what part has play played in your life?” he shared that about 13 years ago, when he was in a hard-driving job and it was consuming him, an old friend took him out for a beer.
His friend said “you look really down… worn down, depressed, bummed out.”
My friend couldn’t help but agree. He was sacrificing everything for his job, and although the job had once been fun, it wasn’t anymore.
His friend asked him a question that changed his life: “What version of you do you want your kids to remember you as?”
It was play that brought my friend back from the brink.
It was play that helped him in being the version of him that he wanted his kids to remember.
Play has been disparaged and pushed down for too long in so many of us.
It’s time for that to stop.
Will you join my movement?
Joining is easy.
All you need to do is open up a place in your heart and ask yourself: “what part does play play in my life?”
And if you’d like, write to me with the answer. I would love to hear!
Cheers and thanks for reading –
PS The movement extends into the We Turned Out Okay Podcast : )
For six years, the tagline for my show has been “The Modern Parent’s Guide to Old-School Parenting.”
And it’s been such fun!
But I’m realizing that it’s about more now than us as parents.
It’s about what motivates us from our heart and our gut.
It’s about how we play, and how we make the time to play.
It’s about how we remain ourselves, no matter what is going on around us.
I’m not sure what the tagline will end up being yet. For now I’m thinking of it as:
“We Turned Out Okay… Because what’s happened to us does not define us.”
Over these next several episodes I’m doing a series of shorts, each on a value that I strongly hold.
I would really love to hear your thoughts!
It won’t be exactly the same.
However it’s still me at heart, so you know it’s going to be playful, fun, and as serious as it needs to be.
It’s still me, showing up for you, and best of all I’m sharing more of me than parenting advice.
It feels vulnerable, and scary, and super exhilarating!
I hope you’re along for this ride : )
Check out the latest by clicking the link below: