For some people, the pressures of adult life and parenting have become so all-consuming and stressful that FUN seems to have gone out the window. Fun is seen to be just another thing requiring effort. Having fun though, is not only crucial for our health and well-being but it enables us as adults to reconnect with our inner child. When we connect more with our inner child we tend to be lighter, more free spirited, less serious, humourous, more spontaneous and more playful beings just like our children. For this reason alone, we engage better with our children and inevitably, the parent/child relationship is a happier more fulfilling one. Life after all is supposed to be enjoyed not endured.
Children naturally love having fun. Putting tantrums and poor behaviour aside, children know how to have fun. We’ve all been children and hopefully most of us have experienced a fun childhood but what happens to our inner child when we become adults? Sadly, many of us suppress it. We are supposed to be sensible adults and silliness and sensibleness don’t go hand in hand. As a result, our lives can and often do become too serious.
Think about how you want your children to remember you? How do you remember your own parents? Were they generally stressed out and uptight parents, angry or cranky or were they happy and fun. Of course we are going to have our ups and downs but generally we would like to enjoy being parents and we would like our children to have fond memories of their childhood and of us as their parents. We all have an inner child that wants to shine but for whatever reason many of us have locked it away and it could be the key to us being better parents.
When you are experiencing tense times with your children, the atmosphere can be changed as quickly as it was created but how we react to the behaviour and deal with it, is crucial. If your child is having a tantrum in front of your very eyes or the whinging is driving you completely nuts, instead of reacting from a place where their behaviour is seen to be unsatisfactory, move yourself to react with humour if possible. Yes, it’s going to be challenging if you feel like exploding inside and it will take work and effort but you may be pleasantly surprised. So if you’re out shopping and your son or daughter has a massive hissy fit, don’t feed their fit by reacting adversely to the behaviour. You may even have to disengage from them momentarily to keep composed by ignoring them. As long as you can still see them that’s fine. Now think of your favourite song or something that instantly makes you feel good in that moment and BREATHE. It could be Booby McFerrin’s song, Don’t worry be happy. Start humming it or whistling it, clicking your fingers or even dancing on the spot (this is where the I don’t care what others think mentality really helps). Already you are feeling better. Your child could even up the ante and you would be fine.
Once you are feeling fabulous, calmly approach your child and simply tell them what you are doing. Mummy is going to pay now and then we’re going -whatever it is you intend to do. You cannot rationalise with an emotional child it is a waste of your time and energy. They need to be calm and so do you to be able to talk to them about their behaviour. Just remain strong and consistent in your convictions. I remember carrying my son kicking and screaming out of so many shopping centres completely red faced and embarrassed. I was too hung up on what everyone else thought or was thinking to actually deal with the situation in a more positive fashion. I should have been singing, Don’t worry be Happy and addressing his tantrum later. I could have even changed the words to Don’t worry, no lollies or toys today, be happy!
We as parents can bring light to a difficult and annoying situation rather than waiting for our children to see the error of their ways which is not going to happen in that moment in time. Children respond to humour. So think about something you could do that they’ll find entertaining to move the tenseness out of the moment. Sometimes when my children start nagging at me, I put on a nagging voice and huff about the room just like them. Most of the time, they crack up laughing and want me to keep going. It’s when everyone is feeling lighter and happier that you can really communicate in a positive manner to your children and speak calmly and wisely to them rather than yelling and screaming which may get their attention but doesn’t make you or them feel any better. Yelling does not teach our children anything except that it is okay to yell at people. It’s an unhealthy way of venting what we cannot say calmly because in that moment we’re reacting unconsciously rather than being conscious and present. We’ve all yelled at our kids and we all know that we feel awful later on for doing so. Yelling does not solve problems it creates problems- issues with confidence and self-esteem, respect, behaviour and not to forget our health and well-being.
If we as parents re-connect with our inner-child we are saying yes to having more fun with our children and creating new opportunities for a healthier, happier relationship with them.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Wishing you all the best and hoping you’re having loads of fun,