The secret ingredient of great parenting
What is the secret ingredient of parenting that adds flavor to your home?
Have you ever dug into a dish that you thought would be just so-so and it ended up being fabulous?
What’s the secret ingredient? You ask the chef, who may or may not choose to share the ingredient that transformed the dish from good to GREAT.
I’ve been in a lot of good homes that were just that…good. And then I’ve been in homes that were beyond good. They were fabulous.
What’s the secret ingredient of parenting that helps make a good home GREAT?
Add a little spice
There’s a lot of very essential ingredients that every good home will have: respect, love, good communication. Kinda like the flour and baking soda and salt in a good baking recipe. To carry the baking analogy a bit further, the values that you instill in your child are the baking dish that holds all the ingredients.
But what ingredient adds the spice, the kick, to a home? What can help take it beyond good?
It’s very simple, really.
Yes, you read it right. And before you give my idea an unfair dismissal, hear me out. If you add silliness in with values, respect, love, and good communication, you have the recipe for a great home environment.
When people get silly, they laugh. Walls go down. Bonds are built. Laughter is amazing medicine and the family that laughs and gets silly together, in my opinion, has a better chance of staying strong and close as they grow up.
I’ve seen lots of good parents at work. They have values. They discipline. They teach. They love. These are the foundational ingredients of the dish, so to speak.
And then I’ve seen families like my niece and nephew who get silly with their kids. I mean, ridiculously silly. Every time I go to their home, I see how much they enjoy their kids. They play with them, they joke with then, they laugh with them. It’s just fun being in their home.
Of course, they also teach and guide and discipline. But the spice of silliness gets tossed in here and there throughout the day and I have no doubt that those kids will grow up solid and strong in their family bonds and will have a love for their parents’ values because of it.
Not feeling silly?
I am not by nature, a funny, silly person. So I get it when people say, that’s just not me, sorry.
But silliness can be a choice.
You can choose to get on the floor and tickle your kids.
You can choose to go outside and play a game (and be silly about it).
You can choose to make a game out of setting the table or cleaning up toys.
It’s all a matter of letting your inner child out every once in awhile. We were all kids and I’d venture to say, we were all silly at one time or another.
Be intentional about your silliness
If it doesn’t come easy to you, then schedule it. Remind yourself. Ask yourself at the end of the day, was I silly with my kids today?
And as your kids get older, don’t give it up. If you feel like dancing to the music in the store, go ahead. Of course your kids will roll your eyes, but at least they will know that you still have the ability to be silly.
Have that ice-spit fight with your 18 year old as you are leaving a restaurant. ( I did, last week, and we laughed so hard, we were crying)
Go line-dancing with your adult kids (I plan on having a family outing this summer when all the kids are home from college doing just that)
Play marco polo in the pool. Play any game, really. And get competitive about it. Get crazy. Nertz always brings that out in our family.
Go be silly today. And if you haven’t been doing it, it’s not too late to start. I’m pretty sure your kids won’t mind you laughing more, because silliness is just downright fun. It heals and bonds, and does so much, kinda like a wonder drug. And I think that if God had a 10 commandment list for parenting, silliness would be near the top of the list.
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