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There are a lot of very good parenting techniques available to parents in the form of parenting books, videos and classes. I have written and taught them myself. What you don’t often hear about is how to “do” parenting when the rubber hits the road. How do you get through the daily grind of life and keep a cheerful face and engage your child (or for some us multiple children)? My best parenting advice is this: Be silly. I know, parenting should be serious, shouldn’t it? The truth is that it is serious way too often.
Silliness is a useful way to lighten up the mood in the home and to engage bored or irritable children. Over the years I have used variations on the silly theme with mostly good effect. Here’s a few to try on and see how they fit for you:
Change the game rules Parents can get exhausted playing the same old game of “Go Fish” or “Sorry.” Anything done hundreds of times can be hum drum. Spice it up by changing the game rules. Use a pirate voice when playing a card game. “Argh, give me your fours!” Narrate the characters in the book you read at bedtime every night. Act it out instead of reading it. This weekend I played my niece, nephews and grandson Ping Pong Poetry. Every time you hit the ball you have to rhyme a word: Ping, sing, ring, thing, king, etc. It resulted in several belly laughs.
Tell a joke This is perhaps the simplest silly strategy. Have a long car ride? Tell a few Knock-Knock jokes. OK, you might have to do a google search first to come up with a few but it will be worth the research! I have one I told me kids over and over again. They groaned every time I would start to tell it but I could tell by their smiles they loved the “tradition” of it as well. Want to hear it? “How do you make a hanky (hankerchief) dance? Put a little boogie in it.” Made you laugh? I know it is a little irreverent but isn’t that the point here?
Make up a song Need to get your kids to focus and march in a file through a store without touching everything? Come up with a marching song and sing it (quietly) as you go down the aisles. Preschool teachers do this all the time to get kids to clean up their mess and move to a new classroom activity. Use it at home too.
Food can be fun Got a picky eater? Dinner time always turns into a fight? Use the food to create some fun. Put coloring food into the milk. Make a game out of how slowly you can eat. Wiggle your nose at others around the table and see who can catch who doing it. Eat in courses, switch seats for each one or use your opposite eating hand to do it. Make faces out of the foot as you place it on the plate. We often use special pancake forms on the griddle to make dinosaur shapes. A lot of food is package in shapes of animals or other character. I enjoy bitting their heads off. Sorry, but I do. Have a crunching contest – keeps kids focused and eating mom!
Wear funny slippers My sister-in-law came over for the weekend and wore fluffy pink slippers most of the weekend. She was comfortable and the kids loved making fun of her. Keep a full house of people energized and in good humor. Alternate this strategy by wearing bright clothing, mix patterns or act cool in your shades. I am sure you have a few silly tricks up your sleeve.
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- Games Parents Play! (parentingtoolbox.com)
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Do you have any special Valentine Traditions? In this creative article you can get some very practical ideas to start a Valentine tradition in your family. Share your fun ideas by tweeting us @ronhuxley or go to our Parenting Pride page on Facebook (click here).Source: http://www.parentsconnect.com/questions/valentines_day_traditions_family.jhtmlThe earlier you start traditions, the more likely they will continue to be practiced and cherished. For young ones, you might want to try putting red food coloring in their milk, make heart-shaped pancakes with red heart smiley faces or stick valentines and chocolate kisses in their lunch boxes. Do something uniquely meaningful for each of your children, to show them that they are each your special valentine. (And as they grow older, the specific “something” may change, but the tradition will remain.) Perhaps dinner can consist of everyone’s favorite food—which might mean that you end up with several dessert items on the table!You can also spread the tradition of love to include other people, or things. Teach random acts of kindness, and encourage your kids to find three ways that they can be loving and caring on February 14. Or do family acts of kindness. For instance, take cookies to a nursing home, bring food to the local animal shelter, send homemade cards to kids in the hospital or make a contribution to your favorite charity.”Where did the Valentine Holiday come from?According to Wikipedia:“Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating loveand affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offeringconfectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle ofGeoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.“
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One way of looking at parents is as additive or subtractive. If you are the former, you tend to look at how to add new skills or build your parenting over time, collecting new ideas and parenting tools. If you are the latter, you look for ways to prune out bad parenting behaviors, eliminate unwanted parenting beliefs. One way of parenting involves parenting by learning. The other by introspection. Both are necessary to be the type of parent you want to be. Some of us are more naturally good at one type over the other. It can be frustrating when there are two parents, in the home, with different styles of parenting.
Which type of parent are you? What types of behaviors do you engage in that makes you feel you are one way or the other? How do you handle parents with other styles and how do they cope with you? Click the comment link to share…
Hey, if you are an additive type, try one of our easy ecourses ( see the top of the page for more info info…).
Has your child been arrested for conduct disorders, like vandalism, tagging, stealing or other aggressive behaviors? Ever consider sending your child to an outward bound program or just a deserted island? Maybe you want to go to the island!
Share your struggles with us…click the comment link. How did you fix this situation. What advice would you give other parents dealing with this issue?