Skip to main content

Stress? Try Play!

Parenting is one of the most difficult things many of us will ever do.  We stress over the lives of our kids, just hoping that we don't mess them up forever.  Despite this, did you know that parenting makes you happier?  A study conducted by UC Riverside ( shows that parents have better "well-being" scores than those without kids.  These measures include things like happiness, stress, satisfaction, and symptoms of depression.  Interestingly, while all parents score better in these areas, father's scores improve the most.  

One researcher suggested that this may be connected to the fact that fathers tend to report more play time with their children.  This reminds me of a tenant we recently had in our Airbnb upstairs.  The mother and the kids stayed in the home all day, but they were so quiet we barely knew they were there.  As soon as the dad returned from work though, we knew it.  For at least 30-45 minutes we heard little feet running around, loud shouts, and thumps as they rough-housed with their father as a welcome home.  It put a smile on my face just hearing the sounds of play and laughter upstairs.  

Another potential answer is suggested in much of the work of psychologist Jordan Peterson.  Peterson claims that in taking on more responsibility we find meaning, and in meaning we find well-being.  I hesitate to say happiness because I think Peterson would find the idea of happiness fleeting and fickle.  Peterson suggests some deeper need being met by finding meaning in responsibility.  

Either or both suggestions could be true.  Either way the study reminds us to find the joy in this meaningful task of parenting.  It reminds us that all the hard worth is worth it, and that we should slow down and enjoy it a little.  Take a little time today to set aside the to-do list, and just PLAY as a celebration with your kiddos for the life lived together.  Enjoy the Art of  being a Family!


Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   " this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Deeper Discipleship

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is Mark 10:17-22.  A wealthy man approaches Jesus with great respect and asks what he must do to have the abundant life Jesus has been preaching about.  Jesus reminds him of the commandments, but the man claims to have followed them since childhood.  Jesus looks him in the eye and something changes.  Mark tells us that Jesus loved him in this moment, so he invites him to sell all of his belongings, and follow him.  He invites him to become a disciple.  All of the other disciples had to do the same thing in order to follow Jesus.  They dropped their nets, left their family, and followed Jesus.  In this case, the man could not do it.  The scriptures tell us that he had a lot of wealth, a lot he was unwilling to let go of.  He left that encounter disappointed, because the cost of discipleship was too great.  I notice that Jesus starts with the law as the answer to the question, almost giving a basic book answer.  It is only after