(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)
Here's the most important thing I learned about using a sense of humor as a parenting tool--it's really hard to pull off convincingly if I'm irritated! The second most important thing: don't overuse it (or any tool) to distract them from their emotions. It's okay for them to have Big Feelings, and I don't want them to get the idea that their Big Feelings (especially the so-called negative ones) are wrong to have somehow.
This tool works best when I am not overly emotional about whatever needs to happen, and when the kids aren't too far gone either. If Ryan has crossed over the line into Wig Out Mode, making jokes and singing songs just isn't going to work. Morgan is a little more amenable to the idea, but again, too much lightheartedness in a serious situation can backfire.
We had lots of fun this week singing! I tend to make up silly songs (my friend Kelly is genius at it), but this week I made up TONS of songs. The crowd favorite--fake opera.
"Pleeeeaaase locate your SHOOOOOEEESSS! We need to GO!"
Garners a response from Ryan: "I don't know where they are, where they are, where they AAARRRRREEEE!!!"
"The last time I saw them they were in the PLAAAAAAYYYY rrroooooommmmm!"
"Thank you very MUCH! I found them!"
Hard to describe in writing, but I hope you get the point! Seriously. Opera. Highly recommended. Be warned that any other adults in your neighborhood or in the grocery store may be very surprised by this behavior, though. Just hit a high note and move on. Either they'll get it, or they won't. But I'm not going to let them spoil my fun!
Another favorite game around here is Army. (I know, shocker.) I had a whole little Army Corps of Engineers working on a disaster clean up project (the playroom), marching and shouting orders and saluting me. Even the baby was marching around and shouting "GUH!" Which I took to mean "Yes sir!" Totally adorable, btw. I very much need to remember this Army Rescuing a Disaster Area Game. Very. Much.
I'll put up the next Tool Card later today. We're leaving on Friday for our annual beach vacation, so I'm extra busy this week. Bye for now!