24 Jul Transform your life with play…By Dr. Marcie
Guest Blog Post for Cheryl Wheeler
On my refrigerator, I have a magnet that says
“What if the Hokey Pokey IS what its all about?”
While I am still trying to figure out if that is true, I have figured out that my days are much more enjoyable when I play!
How many minutes each day do you play?
Small beings (aka-children) spend countless minutes each day playing. They learn and grow and explore through play.
As a big being (aka-an adult), have you lost your capacity to live with a playful sense of curiosity and creativity? Is there room to increase your daily play quota?
As a behavior therapist working with small beings, I get to play each day. Here is what I do. When a small being is listening and engaged in positive behaviors, I am one of the most fun people ever! We use play to learn new skills and explore and laugh together. When a small being is not listening and is engaged in behaviors that are challenging, all play stops. I teach that bad behavior results in less fun and less attention.
This pattern can transform your life, with or without small beings. Spend more moments each day focusing on play. Your play may look different than mine. Playing Candyland, Battleship and building with blocks are part of my daily playing. Your play may be going for a walk in the park or standing outside your office building for one extra moment to admire the blue sky. Bringing in more play may be acknowledging your joy as you talk to a friend or dancing in your car when a really good song plays.
If you do have small beings in your daily life, take a few extra moments to sing one more song or play a round of Go Fish.
When challenging behavior arises, find a way to give it less attention and focus.
If it is your own behavior, can you redirect your thoughts?
Rather than being frustrated that your boss is asking you to do the impossible, focus on gratitude for having a stable income and do your best on the task. If it is the behavior of another big being, think about an appropriate way to redirect the tone of the interaction from complaining to problem solving. Can you gently point out a possible solution or change the subject? If it is the behavior of a small being, can you remove the play and teach them that challenging behavior decreases fun.
Adding one small moment of play to your day, each day, will make an impact on your happiness.
What play will you add to your day today? Would love to hear how it changed your overall day! Happy Playing!
PS-To learn more about me, my behavioral work or my weekly blog, go to www.BehaviorAndBeyond.net
Bio: Dr. Marcie Beigel has been working with children and families and professionals for over 15 years. In that time she has earned her certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate, her Doctorate form Teachers College, Columbia University and New York State Certifications as a Special Education Teacher and Administrator. Her experience ranges from teaching in classrooms to parent training to individualized therapy in her office to teacher development workshops to coordinating full programs for individual children.