Today’s post is from favorite Hearts at Home comedienne, Sally Baucke. who I’m happy to announce will be part of our 2014 events! Sally’s new book, What Did Not Kill Me Made Me Stronger Funny, challenges us to see life as “a work in progress,” where frustration and funny go hand in hand.
Sally resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her wonderful first husband, her two adorable Westies, and a handful of food-foraging sons. You can find Sally online at www.funnygalsal.com.
Do you ever feel like motherhood is a never-ending game of “pick your battles”? Do you get tired of feeling like “the bad guy” when it comes to enforcing good behavior? Even if you don’t feel this way every day, most moms get dragged down by the routine every once in awhile. I know I often feel that way. Over time, this can start to impinge on your relationship with your children. This is when you both need a shot of what I affectionately call Vitamin Glee.
During my two-plus decades as a mom, I have found Vitamin Glee to be a very valuable, yet often overlooked trick to help me get the results I need without the stress I don’t want. I am not talking about telling jokes all day, or being pals with my kids. I am talking using humor as a springboard to communicate with my children in a way that is fun and productive. . (And you don’t have to be a comedian to do it.) It’s a win-win situation for the whole family!
Consider a room full of toddlers. Young children thrive in a world of play, and fun interaction, something that diminishes when the responsibilities of “the real world” bear down in adulthood. Yet, in order to connect more fully to our child, we need to go into their world because they have no knowledge of ours. So something as simple as making a fun game out of an otherwise nagging chore can bring out the best in your child, and you too!
For example, if your preschooler is a cranky riser, try changing up their routine with a gentle game of “where’s the teddy bear?” when you hear them stir. Hide a favorite stuffed animal while they sleep and tell them to find it when they awake. This can become a new routine, one that is rewarded with kisses and giggles when the item is produced to a smiling mommy. Preschoolers live in world of silly, so anything that feels like silly to them will be speaking their language to get your results.
Or, perhaps you have an adolescent who is reluctant to talk after school. Try watching a clean comedy clip on YouTube together during their after school snack. The laughter breaks the ice, so you don’t have to. Tim Hawkins and Bryan Regan are both hilarious as well as appropriate. Laughter is a great connector from birth to young adulthood, and it is a superb way to build an emotional bridge during those painful teenage years.
One tool I often use to generate a smile in my children no matter their age is to use a vocal accent. Not proficient at “hillbilly twang” or “British banter”? No worries! Try mimicking their favorite character from a movie or television show. My little boys were more than happy to brush their teeth when I talked like Donkey from Shrek, telling them to brush that nasty breath away so it would be “minty fresh like a tic-tac “(with apologies to Eddie Murphy.) Just a break from the “norm” will produce a giggle, (or at least a stare of disbelief, something I’m used to and consider a sign of success!)
If you haven’t tried injecting a dose of Vitamin Glee to your routine yet it’s never too late to start! LOL with your kids, and you’ll be building a bridge for life!
How about you? How do you insert humor into your mothering?