Family fitness works so well for families not only because it gets us in shape, but also because it helps us all emotionally. Anger . . . tension . . . stress – exercise can help defuse all of these tough emotions.
And in our household there are a few activities that just burst in on the scene without any planning. Sure they’re a little rough, a little wild. But hey, that’s part of being active and having fun.
As long as there’s a mutual understanding about safety.
In fact these activities provide great opportunities to learn to pay attention to other people and regulate yourself accordingly. How to know when to just about lose yourself in the moment . . . and then know when to stop.
And these activities serve a very special purpose. They get us moving off the couch . . . but they give us something even more.
They change the mood, bring a burst of energy. Sometimes, if it’s been a particularly tough day with some disciplinary issues, for example, they help us work out a little lingering tension.
Here are our three faves . . . Consider introducing them to your family culture as well. Of course, mind safety, make sure you keep some limits in how wild it gets . . . and then enjoy the giggles, yells and good family feelings they bring:
Kids love wrestling. There’s nothing better than jumping on top of their mom or dad and grappling with all their might. It’s this beautiful combination of the physical affection of hugging with a little feeling of excitement and challenge to see if they can keep the upper position.
Of course go easy on them . . . no need to put your extra body weight and might to use here. But also let them experience a little challenge, test their own body’s power, too.
It’s one of those funny human instincts – who knows where it came from and what its purpose. But it certainly serves its purpose in our household when we need to have a little wildness. You just can’t help but break into uncontrollable squirming and giggling if poked in just the right place. So tickle with abandon . . . and let them get you in the arm pits, too. But be alert to not take it too far . . . know when you each need to catch your breath and relax.
Our throw pillows do get thrown. At each other. We have a great time bopping, ducking, swopping and plopping with the beauties that are supposed to grace our couch. Occasionally a few ringers make it in from the bedroom as well.
Just make sure that all valuable lamps are secured and your pillow bopping doesn’t get too rough for any of the participants.
All of these spontaneous wild activities can bring a whole new active bond-building, tension-busting burst to your family life.