Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously
I know I do. It can be really hard to not “sweat the small stuff” in those moments where stress and emotions get the best of us. We can really do ourselves and our kids a favor by practicing some lighthearted parenting. I believe that there are many day-to-day things that we could simply play and laugh away with our kids.
Here is a Personal Example
Tonight, I was genuinely frustrated that neither of my kids wanted to eat their dinner. I will spare you the whole story, but here is the thing that finally worked. I told them that the first one to take a bite of dinner would get a kiss from Dad. Of course, my kids are still young so I can pull this kind of stunt. 🙂 They both quickly shoved a forkful in their mouths. My wife called it a tie and they both got kisses. I was just happy it got things moving and we had a little fun in the process.
Check out these ideas from a great book called “The Power of Play” by Dr. David Elkind.
1. Discipline With Humor – Using humor when you discipline can decrease your stress level and increase learning for your child. By using a lighthearted approach you can manage your own negative feelings, help your kids learn to do the same and also provide a healthy model of parenting for your children to use when they become parents.
2. Share Your Passions – Share what you enjoy with your kids and encourage them to explore new things. It is beneficial for your children to see you having fun and being passionate about enjoying life. You may even contribute to your child’s future success. Think about sport stars, musicians and even business people who were inspired by their parents’ passions.
3. Family Time and Shared Experiences – Have fun together as a family and create a habit of sharing everyday experiences. For example, ask your kids what their favorite memory of the day or week is and start by sharing yours. These are the things they will remember when they are older and not necessarily the toys they get or expensive family vacations.