In a post-covid world, our children’s lives are generally back to being heavily structured, with limited flexibility.
Here are some ideas for including some silliness in the weeks that seem to roll on and on.
These opportunities allow children practice at flexibility and relaxation – prioritising fun, play and connection. We know that attachment with a primary caregiver is such a fundamental part of supporting a child’s wellbeing, and mental health. It also allows us as parents to experience the true joy that children can bring us!
- ‘Yes’ days. Within certain caveats (safety and financial), the child gets to choose how the day runs – e.g. parents go on all the play equipment, or you eat pizza three times in a day.
- Bonkers brekkie – enjoy crazy combinations and sweet treats you wouldn’t normally have. Like ice cream and waffles!
- Swinging by a park on the way home (Surprise!)
- Starting work or school late one day, and going on a bushwalk to look for flowers.
- Staying up late one night – watching stars on the back deck, or playing in the backyard after dark.
- Allowing your child to choose your clothes for school drop off.
One quick tip – try giving these as special coupons; one at a time, otherwise they may ask for them often!
We recognise that these may not be helpful for neurodiverse families that thrive on structure, however you may find that some of these silly concepts may still be incorporated into a day. An example of how this may work is adding them into your visual schedule, and letting the child know in advance.
Occupational Therapist (Psychosocial – Families) (MOccThySt)