a little parental silliness can save the day

Learned something interesting from a client today. When her kids are frowning, she tells them that's great, because she's making frown soup and she could use another frown to throw in the pot.

Then she chases them around and tries to grab the frown off their face, and of course they end up laughing and smiling, and then she acts all bummed that she can't have the frown for her soup, and they gloat with glee.

When they whine, she says Oh, good, I could use some whine in my frown soup because it makes it nice and spicy. And then she chases them around trying to catch the whine, and they all end up giggling.

Frowning happens to be their family issue, but I bet this could be adapted for other issues, too. There are very few issues that can't be resolved with the silly treatment.

Doesn't have to be soup, necessarily. When my kids were little, they absolutely loved when their dad would wrap them up in blankets and roll them around like he was making them into burritos. Periodically he would say Oops, I forgot to add the beans (or cheese, or good manners, or sharing hands, or whatever the desired behavior was), then unwrap the blankets, tickle them a little, wrap them up and roll them around again.

My client reported that she's really been working on not getting caught up in her kids moods/issues and not taking them so seriously. She's been singing goofy songs and making up games as much as possible, and her days are now much less stressful than when she thought she had to stop and get serious and address every infraction every time.

So there's a few ideas to fuel your creative parenting engine. I'd love to hear what other kind of silly games you play with your kids to lighten things up at your house!

For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit www.karenalonge.com

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