Last night, after a big day of house and garden work, I was exhausted and ready for the day to be over already! I was lying on the floor with my son, rolling around a bit, and then suddenly I was inspired to play a game that I call “Stuck on you”.
I was in the middle of cuddling him, with my both my arms around him, and my hands on his back. Then all of a sudden, I acted shocked that my hands were stuck to him and that I couldn’t get them off!
I said playfully, “Oh no! I’m stuck! I can’t get my hands off! I’m stuck!!!!”. I pretended to do my best to get my hands free. I grunted as I “tried” to pull them off! But what do you know? They were stuck fast! He giggled and tried to pull my arms to get my hands off, to no avail!
My boy thought this was hilarious – and so did I! (In fact one of the best things about this game was that it made ME laugh at the end of a long day! And once I’d had a bit of a laugh, I felt more like playing.)
Of course, when my son moved, I had to move too. So, when he ran into the other room to delightedly show my husband how I was stuck, I had to stumble after him awkwardly.
👉 The pure nonsense of the game made it funny.
👉 And this was enhanced by the power reversal aspect; me acting like I was powerless to unstick myself and at his mercy as he moved around.
After a bit of laughter, the game started to evolve. My son told me that if he did a “force push”, my hands would be unstuck. I went with it, and “Voila!”, I was unstuck! And I said, in an exaggerated tone, “Ohhh, what a relief!”.
My son then delighted in taking full control of the sticking and unsticking. Over and over in quick succession, stuck, unstuck, stuck, unstuck! And each time, me exaggerating, “Oh no! I’m stuck!”, then “Ohhh, what a relief!”.
We laughed a lot! Releasing stress and tension that we had been carrying from the day, and ending up feeling more calm and connected with each other.
But perhaps even more powerful is that games where we are “stuck” to our children and they have the control can also help them to release feelings (such as mild fear and powerlessness) that they are still carrying about having been separated from us in the past, particularly times when they didn’t have a choice about it. So this game can also be very healing.