Richard Maun – Natural Child Ego State

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Playtime For All

19 December 2009

Richard making a friend (literally).

Richard making a friend (literally).

Christmas time can be a serious business, with mince pies to make, turkeys to stuff and massive amounts of small twinkly lights to hang outside, where we can’t see them. I’ve often wondered at the sense of spending all year diligently separating rubbish into different piles for recycling, buying eco-hessian bags at the supermarket, using energy saving bulbs and then turning your house into a crazy UFO for three weeks. There’s a house near to us on a main road that has so many lights NASA has asked them to turn a few off because they’re blinding their surveillance satellites. Mind you, I’m not entirely sure what they’re looking at in Norfolk…my best guess would be the pier at Cromer, but I’m open to suggestions.


During this festive time, when life can get a bit too serious, it can be helpful to get a nudge in the ribs and be reminded that we can stop and play. A case in point: Yesterday I was about to leave the house and walk to my office (where I have installed myself, rather grandly, as ‘writer in residence’ at a local PR firm) when I realised that the children were all in the back garden playing in the snow. As this was a moment to be savoured, I joined them. We threw snowballs, built a snowman and rescued the tiny twins from snowdrifts, largey because they couldn’t bend in their snowsuits and laid on the ground like helpless starfish. It was a fun thing to bunk off work for a while and great to have some ‘Natural Child’ playtime.

Stop and Play

Natural Child is a term from Transactional Analysis and means when we’re in a playful state, having fun or being creative, without a Parent figure telling us what to do and how to behave. Just because we have turned into ‘grown ups’ doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy ourselves too.

So, when things get serious over Christmas and your stress levels start to boil; take a deep breath and stop. Then find something to play with and have fun, because five minutes of fun can put a smile back on our face and remind us that without some Natural Child time, life is really very dull.


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