Let’s discuss the silliness of dads. Growing up, my dad was always making silly remarks. Some of them I have picked up. For instance:
No bouts adoubt it
I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albequerque
You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to outsmart me
Child: “I’m hungry”, Me: “That’s funny, I thought you were <<child’s name>>”
Dads should be silly and funny. Laughter is a great way to have fun with your kids. Of course, you get your share of eye rolls in the process. However, if you can be silly with your children, then you can relate to them a little better. Being silly can be a bonding experience. And creating strong bonds is essential for instruction and teaching to happen.
I have a game I play with my kids, it’s called “Don’t Smile!” It basically goes like this:
- The child is in a grumpy mood or has a frown on their face
- I look at the child and say “don’t you dare smile, stay grumpy, don’t smile”
- After about 30 seconds the child can’t do anything but smile
- Grumpy mood or the frown on their face goes away, at least for a little while
This game has helped to diffuse situations in our house. The children also know that when dad starts saying “Don’t Smile!” that they either need to keep their face grumpy or hide so that the smile doesn’t show.
Up to about age 10, I also have friends to help them when they are grumpy. I’ll be in the room with them and introduce them to:
- Mr. and Mrs. Crabs – my pointer fingers. These friends are used to tickle the child on the neck and get them laughing
- The Claw and Brother of Claw – my two hands. This pair is responsible for belly tickles
- Finally, The Zerbert Monster – Zerberting my kids. For those who aren’t familiar with Zerbert, it’s also known as Raspberries. I try to Zerbert my kids on the cheek. It doesn’t always work, but it always produces smiles
When I have grumpy kids in the car, I pull out Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids for just such emergencies. This small joke book is handed to the person in shotgun (or the grumpiest person in the car) and they get to read jokes. A lot of eye rolling and groaning ensues, but we get a lot of laughter too.
These are some of the things that I do with my kids to make them smile or help them stop being grumpy. But most of all, I do these things to create bonds with my children.
Don’t forget to laugh together as parents as well; Cheryl talks about that here.
What do you do to be silly with your children? What could you start today to find fun ways of helping them get out of grumpy moods? For me, when I can be silly with them, I find that anger dissipates and then situations can be rationally discussed.