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Playful Parenting in the Age of Uncertainty

Of all the capacities we have for managing change and chaos, play, the one we knew so intimately as children, still serves us best

We can stay playful.

Although we might typically think of play as being silly in childlike ways, play represents a much broader and more intentional mindset. We can seek to hold our ideas or beliefs lightly, adopt a not-knowing position, be curious about the emergent, and seek to co-create new and different ways to look at the world in collaboration with our children or partner.

Choosing to be more playful doesn’t make ideas more flexible, it simply acknowledges that they already are.

Beliefs and ideas are, in fact, the emodiment of change as well. In the moment we share an idea or belief, something new is already emerging. Think of a song performed by two different singers, or a dance step by two different dancers. We are performers, too.

This is the central power of conversations, that they embody the process by which we co-create something new.

It is somewhere in the thousands of small daily conversations with our children that the eureka moments that grow our relational and emotional intelligence emerge. When we, as parents, ask instead of tell, hold uncertainty instead of seeking to fix, explore instead of insist, we expand the process by which young minds ask and answer many of their own questions, express and explore many of their own emotions.

So, make the choice. Embrace uncertainty. Play.


This article incorporates excerpts from The Relational Book for Parenting, by Mark Greene and Dr. Saliha Bava.

The Relational Book for Parenting uses comics, fables, articles, and games to help families’ grow their relationship superpowers in the daily back and forth of parenting. It’s a joyful, accessible, parent-friendly cure for what ails our isolating culture, helping us to raise a generation of young people better able to connect, collaborate and innovate across differences. The book is available here:

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Author THE LITTLE #METOO BOOK FOR MEN Writer/speaker on inclusion, masculinity. BBC, New York Times- http://remakingmanhood

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