In today’s Tuesday Tune-In I’m going to give you the secret to parenting.
It’s true. It makes all the difference. And if you ask your kids, they’ll say I’m right. It was actually my son who really drove this lesson home for me. A couple of years ago, he started writing a book that he called “Parenting Mistakes Through the Eyes of an 8 Year Old.”
Clearly, he had a whole book’s worth of material.
That said, Lesson One was simple and important for us all to learn. Actually all the chapters came down to one main idea:
Or in his own words: “Parents need to be more silly, lighter about things.” When I asked him what he meant, he said, ”Let’s do a role play.”
Example 1: Not Playful
He went to lie on the couch and told me to call him to go to the shower the way I normally do. I did, in a straightforward way, and he said, “I don’t want to go.” And kept lying there. I said, “Please go to the shower so that we can have dinner.” He said, ”In a few minutes.”
Indeed, that was an annoyingly good illustration of how it normally goes.
Then he said, ”Okay, let’s try it again. This time, try to be more FUN about it. Find a way to turn it into a game.”
Example 2: Not Playful Enough
This time, I called him again with kind of a silly voice and did a silly dance along with it.
He said, ”That’s not it. Try again.”
(Side note: do the rest of you have parenting coaches at home or am I the only one? Is this retribution to me being a kind of a parenting coach?)
Example 3: Playful
Finally, I went over and said, ”I’m going to tickle you if you don’t get up right away and run into the shower. You better go quick!” Immediately, he started laughing. Then I tickled him and said, ”Let’s see if we can jump the whole way there.” He got up and started jumping.
That day, he reminded me of a lesson that we all need to keep in mind ALL of the time. Our kids want to play. They want to have fun with us. They want to be silly and they want US to be silly. And this is for ALL ages, from tiny babies to attitude tweens.
Here’s the thing.
Things tend to be very serious all the time in our very important worlds. We get caught up in day-to-day tasks that weigh down on us. Our kids see us working very hard to get things done – to feed them, bathe them, make sure they’re healthy, make sure we get our own stuff done, and put them to sleep. We can get pretty bogged down in a mode of checking things off of our list.
So – We all need a reminder. And I am a girl who loves a challenge.
I challenge you to be playful.
See if you can turn small moments into a game and bring out your silly side whenever possible.
But there’s more to this. I’m not just suggesting to be silly. I’m recommending you to do it when you least want to. Right at that moment when your kid pushes back the most – when they are at their most intolerable, irrational and defiant.
It’s right at that moment – when WE may be our most tired, most frustrated, and most spent – that we need to remember this approach.
Here’s the scenario: You’re trying to get your toddler’s shoes on to get out the door. You’re late to wherever you’re going. Your child has already wanted to change outfits three times, has thrown tantrums over lunch and does NOT want to put on shoes.
You just want it to end. A part of you wants to force the damn shoes on the toddler and get going. But you also know that if you do that there are probably 3 more tantrums waiting around the corner.
You have no resources left. You feel depleted.
This is when I want you to dig even deeper and find that playful place within you. Find a way to be funny, to be silly, to turn it into a game, and to play.
I promise you that you will get out of the door so much faster than if you force it.
Now I want to hear from you. What are some ways that you turn a tough moment into a fun moment? Comment and don’t hold back because that is when we all need it the most.
Know a parent having a rough week? Forward this silly solution to them.
Finally, know a book publisher? Send me their info. I think this could be a huge hit . Seriously.
Here’s a way to get your friends on this list so they’ll have the secret to parenting too:
Yes! Please send me the Tuesday Tune-In!