This is one the best podcasts I’ve ever heard about human development and play. Its On Being: Play, Spirit and Character and it incorporates how play, childhood play in particular and physical rough and tumble/fantasy play also, influences our ability to take risks, have empathy and compassion, understand how to adjust to changing dynamics in the world, innovate, and grow. Posited is that the more free “useless” rough and tumble, fantasy play we allow our children, the more well adapted and compassionate they grow to be. It cites studies with animals, with murderers, and has interesting implications for the last 20 years of helicopter parenting where kids aren’t allowed to bike around, or climb things for fear of danger. Fear breeds dysfunction and play breeds peace, basically. And adults need FAR more play. It’s an amazing listen, and there are awesome links.
Whether you are seeking tools for peace, for sexuality, for helping your kids learn how to face a changing world, to help you get farther with projects and careers, try play!
Go take an improv class for one thing! Let your kids “fight” and climb and risk! It’s amazing what our culture is letting go.