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

Divine | Shame | Humans

Shame is often the only thing between our creator and us. Our reading this week is from Job 14:5-6: A person’s days are determined;      you have decreed the number of his months      and have set limits he cannot exceed. So look away from him and let him alone,      till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. Job is struggling with shame and judgement.  He is wondering why God is spending time paying attention to him, a tiny speck in the great universe, a blink of an eye in all eternity.  Why would God waste time casting a glance at us, let alone fostering us, raising us, and disciplining us?  He cries out "Why won't God just let us be, to live out our miserable existence?" A friend shared a post with me on Facebook this week.  It was a video of her dog who had stolen her donut.  The dog had been under the bed for two hours before she started the video.  The video begins with a clear view of the dog and the uneaten donut under the bed.  The dog casts glances from s

Justice & Privilege

The narrative lectionary reading for this week begins a 5 week series on the book of Job.  We focus on Job 1:1-12.  This first section sets the background for the parable.  It is important to note that this is clearly a parable, not a historical text.  This means we must look beyond the described events and towards a deeper meaning within the text.   The story goes like this: ___ There was once a man who thought he was good, an upright citizen, a religiously devout man.  He made good choices and avoided all forms of evil.  He was so pious that he made sacrifices in the name of his family members in case they had unknowingly sinned.  He had great wealth and privilege, and so this was evidence of his goodness.   God was so pleased with this great man, named Job, that he bragged about him to the accuser.  The accuser objected "Of course Job is good, you have provided him with wealth, power, and protection. He would curse you if he was not so privileged."  At this, God takes the

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