Fun and Sillies
We spend time getting the sillies out together. It’s amazing what this can do for your kids and for you.
Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some quick and dirty tips for practical parenting.
This has been a fun and enlightening week around our house. As a matter of fact, a couple of things have inspired me so much that I want to share them with my listeners. I may not be answering any serious questions this week, but I hope what I’ll be sharing inspires you to try out a new response to issues that might normally be annoying, frustrating, or mentally exhausting.
Earlier this week I threw a birthday party for one of my friends. We had our morning playgroup and invited everyone to stay for brunch. We had six moms and 10 kids ages zero to four. After everyone ate, the moms helped pick up the kitchen, but I mostly shooed them out. My kitchen was not where the fun was happening and I wanted everyone to have fun. The kids played in my kids’ bedrooms. I’m sure you can imagine the mess 10 small kids can create when given the opportunity. I could have made the children pick up all of the toys before they left, but I didn’t. I decided to take responsibility for the mess and let the kids just enjoy being kids for the day.
After everyone left, I went back to check out the damages, and it made me smile. I think every toy was out of its box. All of the stuffed animals appeared to have enjoyed some part in the chaos as well, and musical instruments were scattered about. It was a beautiful sight. No, I haven’t gone crazy. It’s all about perspective. Instead of thinking about how much work it was going to be to clean up, I just smiled. I love knowing that I was able to give these children a few hours of pure enjoyment. I’m sure they would have had just as much fun with fewer toys, but being able to give them the space and time to play is the key. It’s not about the toys. If you can provide a safe place for your kids to just play and be kids, you are giving them something wonderful. It is important to teach children to clean up after themselves, but every once in a while, it’s just fun to let them enjoy being kids.
The second thing I wanted to share is what I like to call the 4 o’clock freak-out. This is the behavior that tends to occur right before dinnertime. The kids are hungry. Everyone is tired because the day is winding down. My daughter does all the things kids like to do when they don’t know why they are crabby, but they are. She picks on her brother. She hangs on my legs. She whines about every tiny little thing. My solution for the 4 o’clock freak-out is to stop it before it happens. I just didn’t realize it until this week. We’ve all heard this advice before. Give your kids five minutes of one-on-one attention and you’ll be able to get something done afterward. This is something I’ve done almost every day since my daughter was able to laugh. We spend time getting the sillies out together. It’s amazing what this can do for your kids and for you! I admit it. Sometimes I’m the one having the freak-out.
So, when I start feeling grumpy or one of the kids starts whining, we stop what we’re doing and we play. There are no toys involved and no television on. We just laugh, hug, tickle, and blow raspberries and bubbles. We enjoy each other’s company with non-stop giggling the entire time. This could last for five minutes or 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter how long, as long as everyone gets to laugh. When we are done, we all hug and tell each other, “I love you!” It may just be the best part of my day. I know the kids love it. They even ask for it! I highly recommend that you take some time getting the sillies out with your kids. Older kids may not want to have tickle fights, but you could always have a silly joke time or a talk about something funny you or your kids experienced that day. I think you should still include the part where you hug and say, “I love you.” Some teenagers may still be receptive to hugs, right? Either way, I think you’ll feel energized after you get your sillies out with your kids. I know I do!
That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Thank you for listening.
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The Mighty Mommy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com. This week Grammar Girl is giving some new pointers using “who” versus “whom”, so be sure to check out her podcast!
Music – “Golly Gee” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"