Adults don’t play freely. Why is that?
Muffie Waterman

Interesting. Years ago, when my oldest daughter was three, she was withholding her bowel movements. Our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist who then referred us to a child psychologist.

During our first session while the therapist was playing on the floor with my daughter and I was sitting on the sofa, she asked me to come over to play with them. I remember feeling really uncomfortable and told her I’d prefer to stay seated where I was. She encouraged me again to join them.

We played “doctor,” (my daughter’s roll). I was the patient and was to allow my daughter to doctor me for ten minutes. I was uncomfortable and bored and couldn’t wait to take my place back on the sofa.

We left with instructions that I was to play with her every day for ten minutes using a timer. During our play time, I was to give my daughter my undivided attention and allow her to choose the activity. I am ashamed to say that more often than not, I found myself seated at the kitchen table with my daughter and the activity, and instead of being fully engaged in play, I would pick up the wall phone next to me and multitask by talking to a friend. Oh how I wish to have a do over.

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