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Elements of PACE – Playfulness

mother blowing bubbles with her child, in sepia tones


Playfulness is a key component in building attachments with children and young people. Whether this is joking around and laughing or playing hide and seek, playfulness is an attachment building activity in and of itself.

For mothers who are experiencing violence from adolescents, playfulness is very challenging. Since most interactions are marred by violence, mothers and young people find it difficult to interact without waiting for the violence.

While working with families it is important to do short games, like blowing bubbles or charades, that they can do at home. These are short activities they can try within the safety of a session that can help mum bring the playfulness back in the relationship.

Examples for Playfulness

Essentially, playfulness involves games and fun activities with your son or daughter. In other words, this is having fun for the sake of having fun.

Here are some examples:

  • Hide and seek
  • Board games
  • Doing riddles and telling jokes
  • Playing on a playground
  • Listening to music together
  • Blowing bubbles or using imagination

Mums who have experienced DV may find play challenging and triggering because they did not receive it as children themselves. Therefore, it is best to try some activities in session before encouraging mum to do that at home.

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Understanding and Tackling Adolescent to Parent Violence

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