As any parent of 2+ children will testify, no two children are identical in nature or character. One of my good friends, while growing up, had eight siblings. Every single child was different, unique and had his/her own idiosyncrasies. The family laughed often, though, and I always found that appealing.
Parenting can be stressful and scary – especially for newbies. It doesn’t need to be, though. Every big decision we make in life comes with challenges and varying degrees of frustration:
- What job to choose…or quit?
- What house to buy…or sell?
- What car to purchase…or lease?
- Where to go on vacation…or not go?
- What business to start…or to sell?
Parenting is no different. Will we be serious? Smart? Bossy? Easy going? Middle ground?
How about FUN?
Can parenting also be FUN?
Why not, right? According to studies, the happiest people on the planet tend to be those who live in lower stress environments (on islands or in smaller towns, etc). They have fewer cars, fewer corporate jobs (if any), fewer heart attacks, fewer worries and typically…more children. They also seem to laugh more.
Philosophers have long discussed the meaning of happiness, how to attain that and the value that laughter ads to our lives. Children, in my opinion, are born ready to laugh. They want to have fun, giggle, chuckle, belly laugh and find the smallest (and smelliest) of things hilarious.
Most of them, by nature, don’t care if there are toys lying around or fingerprints on the TV set. They don’t usually mind if the dishes are un-done or if the laundry is piled up. They don’t care if the bank account is low or if the gas has run out in the car. These things matter to parents and might even stress us out but for our kids – being able to enjoy life’s moments is what matters most.
Bank account low? That’s okay. It happens to all of us. Get dressed up in costumes and walk through the neighborhood on a scavenger hunt. You’ll forget all about the bank account and the kids will forever remember the fun you had. The neighbors will enjoy it, too, yes.
No gas in the car? Okay. Find what you can in the cupboard or fridge and create a living room picnic. Pull out some board games or card games and enjoy each other’s company right there at home.
No diapers left? This stinks. Diaper banks and pregnancy centers will oftentimes give them to you for free. Laugh it off. Does it suck to have to humble yourself and ask for a handout? Sure. But laugh about it. Most folks, unless born to wealth, experience hardships at one time or another. “Someday we’ll laugh hard about how we had to wrap her butt in paper towels and duct tape for one night!” That’s darn funny – even if it does suck to run out of diapers.
Every situation can have a funny side, if we look for it. Our kids are young for such a short time and I promise you – they will not remember the difficult moments if you, yourself, learn to laugh things off.
They’ll always remember the laughter and FUN, though. That will become a staple in the feeding of their memory. To the betterment of their health…and yours.
Shara Lawrence-Weiss has a background in early childhood, education, nanny work, marketing, freelance and special needs. She’s worked with children for 23+ years. She has three children of her own and is married to her best friend and biggest fan – Rick. They ditched the city for a small town in the Pines where “everybody knows your name.” Shara has a heart for parents, children, mompreneurs and young mothers (she was a young mother herself). She now owns/runs the following websites and businesses: Mommy Perks, Kids Perks, Personal Child Stories and Early Childhood News & Resources. Her husband is the owner of Design Media Pros. Together they work from home, sitting about 10 feet apart. Thank God they get along quite well – otherwise this situation would not be good. They are actively involved in local charity work assisting mothers, children and seniors.