Happy Father's Day!

This Sunday throughout the land, families are celebrating those givers of whisker rubs, zerberts, and love. A little bit ago,  we were able to attend a conference on Attachment Theory, where much was made on the need for those men in our lives. If you've spent much time around development circles or read a book by Brazelton, you've heard the phrase "rough and tumble" play.  It is the type of play that comes to mind when we think of fathers (and grandfathers) and their children: loud, ruckus games of monster or bucking bronco. Games that include children flying at the back and head of the adult and generally causing mothers to gasp. In fact it seemed, through the examples shared, that the games which are the favorites of many children were the games that were devised when mom (or grandma) were not home. One girl's favorite game was running up to her uncle who dropped out of the window where her dad caught her and then set her down to run the circuit again. In the audience, the fathers laughed and the mothers exclaimed. Which was exactly the point of the lecture, in order for children to develop fully into whole people they need both a safe, secure base: a safe place to fall (so to speak) and a place to explore and test the limits of that safety. They need both someone who is comforting almost all of the time and someone who is exciting some of the time.

Historically, mothers (and grandmothers) have provided children with the security and comfort that we all need to feel loved. This safety and comfort allows us to grow into people who view the world as a fundamentally wonderful place with an expectation that people are generally safe. Fathers (and grandfathers) have historically been the side of the equation that helps push us outside of that comfort zone. Fathers ( and GF's) are exciting and fun. They push us to explore the great big world. They urge us to take risks that may not be uber safe. But also help us devise a plan to explore safely. When we have that side too, we can go into the world, believing in the goodness in people AND feel free to explore and test our limits. We can become great explorers and thinkers -not afraid of failure or hurt. And if we get a little bonk, well, they give great hugs!

A couple of interesting sites with information on play can be found here:
The National Institute for Play 

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