How do you keep it playful?

QUESTION: How do you keep parenting playful?

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Answer:

I was asked this the other day and am actually quite surprised that I’m having a hard time thinking of specific things I do. I tend to be playful without thinking about it! Here are a few examples, though:

  • Singing is a big thing! If I can remember to sing about something, my children
    change their attitude and the dynamic shifts within moments. Instructions that
    are sung are responded to faster; feelings expressed in song lead to dancing
    and connecting; clean-up is best facilitated with song.
  • My children stay with me when I line them up and we hold hands to be a train
    or flap our wings to be mommy and baby ducks (in a straight line, of course).
  • We toot toot or quack our way through grocery stores, parks, parking lots,
    Home Depot.
  • Fussy children get to be fairies and flown to the car.
  • Upside down is how we shake the “grumpies” out.
  • Most mornings we sing two good morning songs one of which requires
    “shining faces,” and if they are already grumpy, I wipe their faces shiny.
  • After the songs, I make sure they know that the biggest rules for the day are NO
    SMILING and NO LAUGHING! Which always causes a horrid eruption of
    giggles to start the day off right. And, during the day, sour faces are reminded of this rule and thanked for adhering to it.
  • We do races – to the car, fastest clean-up, whatever is being dawdled.
  • Anything they don’t want to do might erupt into begging them to do it. Teeth
    beg to be brushed, toys beg to be put away, Barbies are very concerned they
    won’t get to their party in their box on time.

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