Why You Should Absolutely Play With Your Kids [Even When You Don’t Feel Like It]

When There Are Kids in Vegas...If you could bottle your child’s energy, it would probably fuel the eastern half of the United States for a good year or more.

Where do they get all their pep?

As a busy mom, it’s sometimes challenging to keep up with your tykes, let alone spend quality time.

Here’s why you should absolutely play with your kids — even when you don’t feel like it. 

1. You’ll Ease Mild Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety is the most prevalent mental health disorder in America, with nearly 18.1% of the population affected. This condition does more than impact your state of mind.

It can also cause long-term physical damage, such as the development of high blood pressure. Depression isn’t far behind in terms of prevalence. 

Fortunately, getting moving with your kids will ease symptoms of both disorders. Adults who play with their children experience fewer episodes of depression.

Physical activity stimulates endorphin production, and just being in the presence of carefree young ones can remind you to take life less seriously, lowering your stress levels

2. You’ll Gain Energy 

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Many adults don’t get nearly enough physical exercise. Oddly enough, lack of movement makes you feel even more sluggish. Over time, your muscles begin to atrophy, making them work less efficiently. 

Exercise amps up your energy levels by rebuilding your muscular strength — you have more power for daily activities.

Additionally, your body becomes more efficient at releasing energy from cells through ATP — even when you aren’t moving. As a result, you feel perkier overall. 

3. You’ll Boost Your Immune Response  

After spending more than a year living with a pandemic, who wants to get sick?

Playing outside with your kids could boost your immune system and help you and your littles ward off germs. 

The magic lies in phytoncides, chemicals that your friendly neighborhood trees emit for defense.

When people inhale these substances, it revs their immune system into high gear, increasing the number and activity in vital natural killer cells. 

4. You’ll Sleep Better at Night 

Do you toss and turn night after night?

Not only will you sleep more soundly knowing your presence is helping to keep your little ones safe, playing with your kids during the day can help you sleep more soundly come bedtime in general. 

You notice this principle yourself when you put your littles down for a nap. You probably don’t encounter tears if they’re tuckered out from a rough morning at the playground, but they might kick up a fuss after doing little but playing video games.

The same mechanism works on adults — tire yourself out with a bit of play during the day, and you’ll get to dreamland more quickly at night. 

5. Your Kids Might Rest Easier 

Speaking of naptime, you don’t want a battle. Sometimes, though, your kids won’t heed your orders to go outside and run around a bit. 

That dynamic changes if you play with them. Start chasing them around, starting an impromptu game of tag. Challenge them to scramble across the monkey bars and go up and down the slide with you.

They’ll love the challenge and the bonding — you’ll love sending them off to sleep later with a smile. 

6. You’ll Experience Teachable Moments 

Even if you eat dinner as a family several times a week, your kids can sometimes feel intimidated speaking up in such an environment.

Getting them out and moving in the fresh air can help break down some of their inhibitions and get them to confess things that might be bothering them about something that happened in school or an issue with one of their friends. 

Playing with your kids also lets you take advantage of teachable moments. You can use a grocery store game to teach kids basic math and economics principles such as opportunity cost.

You can test the laws of chemistry and physics by performing fun experiments at home — their science teachers will thank you. 

7. You’ll Encourage Emotional Regulation

How do you deal with stress? You probably don’t want your children to see you reach for the bottle. However, if your reaction to a crisis is to blow off steam with positive activities, they’ll follow suit. 

You can teach children how to do yoga with you using age-appropriate language — like rounding your back like a scared Halloween kitty. Another suggestion that relaxes many is coloring, and your child should have plenty of books and crayons.

When you feel ready to explode, exclaim, “I have to release this energy,” and challenge them to a race. You’ll both laugh when you reach the finish line. 

8. You’ll Make the Most of Irreplaceable Time 

It seems like you blinked, and your baby was out of diapers. Children grow up quickly, and you can’t replace the precious moments you have with them when they’re young. 

Perhaps the best reason to play with your kids — even when you don’t feel like it — is to make the most of this irreplaceable time.

Few deathbed confessions begin with, “I wish I had spent more time at work.” Please prioritize what matters most. 

You Should Absolutely Play with Your Kids — Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It 

Kids have so much energy that it can feel impossible to keep pace. However, you should absolutely find the pep to play with your kids.

Doing so when you don’t feel like it can pay off in the greatest rewards!

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Ayleen Jacobs on Email
Ayleen Jacobs
As a Fitness Editor, I'm obsessed with all things physical - that goes for wind and fresh air, as much as for my body. Whatever your goal - slimming down around your tummy or keeping that regular HIIT exercise routine in check, I'm here to support you.

My ongoing education focuses on Pilates, Yoga and Nutrition. I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or via email. Let me know how I can help!

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