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The Play Healing Interview: Introducing New Habits From a Place of Connection

Things have slipped. 

The house is far too quiet and you know it’s not because the kids are sleeping.  In fact, you don’t even have to try and guess what your kids are up to.

You know.

It was the same yesterday after homeschooling, and the day before that, and the day before that and now you’ve had enough.

Screen time is getting in the way of the family that you want to build. You want to introduce new habits, but it the hassle, arguments and moaning tweens feels insurmountable.

Here’s how to move forward.

Cynthia Crossley, the Founder of Habyts, has been talking to Debi John and looking into this issue for years. In the latest episode of the Play Healing Parent Podcast, they discuss their passion to equip families with the tools for change in this fast-paced digital world and agree that connection is the key.

At a Glance Summary

Listen to the full podcast here.

“You could have the perfect family structure in your head, but none of it will work if you haven’t got that connection,” explains Cynthia. 

The bond you’re creating through playful and relaxed moments will help the child to install that new habit as they feel safe within the new structures. However, she went on to explain that it’s ok to fail and if things don’t work one way then collaborate and try it another way. 

Debi often talks to her clients about having peaceful, flexible connections and this approach widely encourages deeper connection and collaboration within the family system. 

Cynthia and Debi go on to discuss adopting a playful approach – instead of coercing the children.  For example, consider offering kids playful or fun alternatives straight after screen time to make getting off screens feel less like a punishment.

Putting in new structures/routines and rhythms requires energy and clarity but the Habyts PACE Approach helps parents to confidently build habits with 4 clear steps: 

  1. Prepare Purposely– get clear on what success looks like for you and your family
  2. Automate Quickly – see how to address specific concerns in a consistent way
  3. Celebrate Smarter – make habits stick by reviewing progress and celebrating success
  4. Experiment Together – be ready to handle any setbacks (it’s actually a GOOD thing)

Having tools to help us automate and address specific concerns enables parents to be more present.

“Children need our presence over everything else and we must pause and look at the kind of family environment we want to create.”

Cynthia went on to explain how “Celebrating the small wins is an essential part of habit-forming.”

Incorporate Play into your rituals and over-celebrate the wins.

Let’s use PLAY and CONNECTION as the MOTIVATION for change.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Visit Play Healing at playhealing.com.   With a unique and complementary set of skills and experience in Therapy, Expressive Arts and Education, Debi John at Play Healing has a distinctive edge in coaching parents  to create and restore healthy connections with their children in a fast-paced digital world.

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