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See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
✦“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ∼ Plato
✦ “A little nonsense now & then is cherished by the wisest men.” ∼ Roald Dahl (children’s books Author)
✦ “Play is the royal road to childhood happiness & adult brilliance.” ∼ Joseph Chiltern Pearce (child-development books Author)
Play – with a capital P – is a process, not a specific thing, which lights up our brain, benefiting us in PMES ways (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). Being a ‘whole’ person means developing a balance between being serious & having fun, but ACoAs tend to live in one extreme or the other, being over-responsible or under-responsible.
In general, it’s any activity someone voluntarily chooses to do (or for ACoAs to not do) because it’s fun, relaxing & enjoyable. It can include being creative, & sometimes even competitive – but without the need to win – otherwise it stops being Play. Debbie Mandel, Stress Management expert suggests that F-U-N = Feeling Uninhibited Naturally. And a formula for ‘balance’ is: Concentrated Energy + Relaxation = Healthy living.
🔆 The purpose & spirit of Play does not require any practical, concrete outcome. It’s not supposed to generate something you can ‘show for it’. It’s a state of being rather than doing.
🔆 However, we can have a hobby that we really love – something creative or a sport, which does includes performing, making or winning something. We may or may not be good at it. The value is not mainly the end product, but the process, which is supposed to be pleasurable & satisfying – suited to our True Self & feeding a part of our soul
🔆 Also, many of us have heard or read about people who say they love their work so much it feels more like playing. In this case there is a tangible product & a financial benefit, but the point they’re making is that it makes them happy! They feel blessed because they get to do it all the time instead of relegating it to their spare time – or not having time for it at all
1. PLAY (in general) is made up of a wide range of spontaneous, voluntary, internally motivated activities, usually associated with recreational pleasure. It’s driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself rather than -necessarily – working towards an external reward.
Play can range from frivolous & pointless —> through spontaneous, free-spirited & relaxed —> to planned or even compulsive
• In childhood, Playing is ‘run’ by children who choose the plot, location, characters & props – making up or changing the rules arbitrarily. It’s something that completely engaged their attention, & ends when it’s no longer fun or interesting.
IMP: By this definition – when adults have kids ‘playing a game’ of any kind with pre-set rules – it’s not Play
“Self-directed play gives kids the opportunity to hone their decision-making skills. Selecting a game, focusing on that activity & seeing it through to the end, is an important element of cognitive control, which helps sharpen their planning skills & attention spans. (For teachers….)
And when children are faced with a problem during play, it tests their reasoning judgment, & ability to find a solution. Brain-teasers, puzzles & strategy-based games help reinforce critical thinking skills”
NEXT: ACoAs & Play (Part 2)