Wish your family could lighten up more and share more fun times together? Mighty Mommy has five ways to help.
Do you ever find yourself observing other families when you’re out at the soccer field, waiting to pick your child up after school or sitting in the reception area at your pediatrician’s office? Do you specifically zoning in on the ones that seem to have their acts together—or better yet who are interacting with their kids while laughing and having a good time—you know—actually having fun?
It’s easy to pick out the cranky families who are trying to survive meltdowns at the grocery store or find a way to coax their overtired child off the playground before they lose the last bit of their already depleted patience. But how about finding those family units that are in that same store or playground that are having the time of their lives? I’ll tell you what—when you do find yourself amongst those happy-go-lucky moms, dads, and kids, it’s not only refreshing and uplifting—it’s also contagious. See Also: No Whining Zone
So why do some families seem to have an easier time being more joyful than others? Mighty Mommy has five ways you can boost your own family’s fun quotient.
Tip #1: Get into the Habit of Smiling
Before you think this tip is either way too simple or even a bit lame, please hear me out. Your face has 44 muscles in it that allow you make more than 5,000 different types of expressions, many of which are smiles. And when you're happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. This reaction has been studied since the 1980s and has been proven a number of times. An article on Smithsonian.com showed that smiling, even forced, causes our bodies to produce physiological changes that reflect the emotion, such as changes in heart and breathing rate.
So now that we have the scientific reasons of why smiling is so good for us, let’s not overlook how great it feels to have someone share a smile with us. Or how about how wonderful it is to notice someone smiling at something cute that one of your kids just did? Smiling isn’t hard to do and the more you crack a big, wide grin, the more apt you’ll want to do it. Families that smile together have lots more fun together! Read this article by my colleague, Lisa B. Marshall, The Public Speaker, "Why Smiling is Required."
Tip #2: Simplify Your Life
Most families I know are living jam-packed lives that require hopping from school to work to sports activities, music lessons, work meetings, errands, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, carpooling, and everything else in between only to wake up the next day and start the cycle all over again. One way my family found more fun was to cut back on being so overscheduled and simplify our daily running around.
Think about what's important and what you can do away with. You may be able to get rid of some possessions and unclutter areas of your home, or you may be able to eliminate certain stressors such as signing your child up for more than one activity at a time. Lessening the time you’re on the go allows your family more time to “chillax” and enjoy your own backyard and each other. See Also: 6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Parenting Life