To be or not to be a mean, killjoy parent? The answer is not to be one! One of the main challenges parents face regarding raising their littles ones is blending healthy discipline with love. Many parents end up being joyless taskmasters in an attempt to raise responsible children. Parenting is already stressful enough as it is, and the last thing you want to do is ignore enjoying the little joys that come with it. And yes, there is joy in parenting; you only need to find it – or better still, create it.
Although there are several stress management tips and various work-life balancing tips for parents, few resources are available to help parents be more playful yet establish order with their children. So, do you want to make your parenting responsibilities more fun? Here are some helpful tips to leverage for the best results.
Enjoy the mess; you can always discipline later
Many parents can’t stand their kids making a mess, but sometimes being messy is how most kids play and learn. Imagine you just gave your child a good bath and changed them into clean clothes, only to find them having a great time in the mud a few minutes later. Understandably, you’ll feel like snapping at that moment.
Your first reaction may be to yank your child out of the mud while muttering angrily to yourself, or worse, screaming at the little guy. But your child is not the problem. They’re only doing what any playful child is supposed to do. Doing the laundry or bathing your kid can be difficult, and you’re already stressed out with other tasks, but try to enjoy the mess your child creates once in a while. Skip the discipline this around and join that little guy in the mud! It may sound silly, but silly may just be what you need at that moment. So, enjoy some messy playtime with your child and see what that does for your mood.
Be the audience
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like doing anything and would prefer to be entertained out of your stress. Well, you’re in luck. Children are natural entertainers with their awkwardness, cuteness, innocence, and sheer desire to have fun. Are you still not convinced? Play your favorite music (or any music at all) invite your child to dance, sit back, and watch – you’ll be glad you did. Why not throw in your partner and watch the two favorite people you love the most entertain you?. Most children love to be why their parents smile, and when you give them a chance, they will entertain you. Plus, it’s free of charge.
Start your day on a fun note
In most cases, the way you start your morning can determine your mood for the rest of the day. If you wake up dreading another day of parental stress, you’ll already be in a bad mood. No matter how difficult a day you expect, start it with a positive and fun attitude. Besides, being moody or angry wouldn’t make your day less burdensome. If these feelings did anything, it would create negative energy that would only hang over your head like a dark cloud dampening your day.
On the contrary, a fun and positive morning routine has the power to lighten and brighten up the rest of your day. Try waking up a little earlier than usual to give yourself enough time to prepare for your day. You can go about your morning routine, listening to your favorite music, singing along, and dancing to the beats. Yes, your dance moves suck, and your singing voice wakes up the neighbors, but who cares? The most important thing is that you wake in good spirits, which leads to the next point.
Get enough sleep
If you’re a busy parent, it is pretty tempting to want to stay up late so you can have some alone time and enjoy some peace. But the morning always has a quick way of sneaking up on you, and before you know it, daybreak is approaching, and a new day is about to begin. Always ensure that you go to bed as early as you can so you get enough sleep. Not only will this save you from the morning rush, but it will also reduce your chances of waking up in a bad mood. A lack of good sleep can make you drag your feet through the day, and you can imagine how hard it will be to feel joyful in such a mood. Not getting enough sleep can also make you depressed, and there’s nothing fun about depression.
To prevent this, try to get about eight hours of sleep at night. If that’s not possible (and it usually isn’t for parents), try to grab a quick nap during the day. It’ll surprise how much a 15-minute snooze time during the day can do to lift your mood.
Pick activities you love
You’ve probably been there – watching a kids’ program with your child that makes you feel like screaming out in anguish or playing or role reversal game that gets boring after a few minutes (but your child wants to keep going). It’s nice to play with your kids and partake in the games they love. But, face it, you’re an adult, and kid’s stuff gets pretty dull after a few minutes, and then you’ll have to keep pretending you’re enjoying yourself to make your child happy.
As wonderful as that is, you can also try introducing your child to some of the things you love doing (whether as a kid or currently). For example, if you’d rather spend time doing some painting, baking, music, or any other exciting hobby you love, you can get your child to join you. Children don’t need much to make them happy, and the enthusiasm you show in the hobbies you love is more than enough to get them invested. So, if you love playing video games, for example, a simple trick you can try is to give your child a disconnected controller while you play your game. They’ll think they’re playing too, while you enjoy your game. A child doesn’t care much about the activity itself at a very young age, but the exciting time they get to spend with their parents.
Take some time out for yourself
Stress is an enemy for fun. Parents who feel overwhelmed and stressed only want nothing more than to provide more exact or basic things their kids need. That means there is less or no time to play around and have fun, as you’ll probably not be in the mood anyway.
No matter how much you’d love to play with your kids, stress and depression can make that difficult. That’s why you need to take care of yourself so that you can take better care of your little ones.
Take some time out and pamper yourself every once in a while. You can visit a spa near you and treat your body to a rejuvenating massage, get your hair and nails done, or hang out with your friends. Thankfully, you don’t need to go too far for the ultimate spa and salon treatment. Just search “hair salon near me” online, and you’re sure to find several options nearby to pick from.
Manage sibling rivalry healthily
Almost every parent knows how frustrating it is when your little ones start going at each other. Even worse, their little rivalry can also affect your peace of mind. In most cases, your first reaction will be to scream and yell at them to stop, hide the item they were fighting over, or march them to their rooms.
Here is a playful alternative. Try grabbing what your kids are fighting over and playfully dare them to win it from you. This way, not only will you make them put their rivalry aside and join forces, but you’ll also turn a frustrating situation into a fun game. You’re welcome.
Try not to complain about everything
Kids will always give you something to complain about. Almost every loving parent may have experienced several moments when they were on the verge of snapping. When you finally lose it, you end up screaming angrily only to regret the things you say and start wishing you could take them back. Your child will work your last nerves often, and there’s no getting away from that. The tone is fundamental when you’re reacting. You don’t need to scream to get your point across or make your child realize they’re wrong. Again, you can be playful with your approach. For example, if your child keeps crying in the mall because you refused to buy that toy they wanted, yelling at them will not make you feel less frustrated. Some parents, in this case, have realized that pretending to cry alongside their crying children makes the little ones quit crying immediately. That is a more fun way to make them quiet.