HOW TO BE A PLAYFUL PARENT WHEN YOU’RE TOO BUSY
Sure being the “FUN” and playful parent sounds wonderful in concept.
But let’s get REAL.
How can we be fun when we have a million things to do throughout the day. On top of that, most of the time our kiddos aren’t cooperating. And chances are you feel guilty for not spending more “fun” time with them.
Well there’s some good news in this post just keep reading !
You can easily be a fun and playful parent. And don’t worry. You don’t need to spend a long time playing a board game, building blocks, or running outside with your kids.
5 WAYS TO BE THE PLAYFUL PARENT WHEN YOU ARE BUSY
1.MAKE TASKS THAT INVOLVES THE KIDS FUN
Next time you want your kids to put away toys, clean up their room, get ready in the morning, or do chores just play their favorite songs.
Next time you want your kids to brush their teeth or put their dishes away, turn it into a “Simon Says” game. “Simon Says brush your teeth.” “Simon Says wash your face.” “Simon Says throw your food in the garbage.”
It’s like magic! Music and games energizes tasks, sets them in a positive mood (because we all know how kids get when you tell them it’s time to clean up or get ready in the morning), and gets them moving faster. That way you won’t be the mean parent always fussing to get your kids to do their tasks.
2.DINNER & MOVIE NIGHT
Let me just say, if I have a bunch of things to do before their bedtime, MOVIE NIGHT has saved my butt. And by the end of the night, my kids think I’m the coolest.
Here’s how it works: Let your kids know it’s movie night for them. Let them pick out a movie. Pop some popcorn, you can even add their dinner to it as well. While they’re in the living room or wherever engaged in the movie, you can slip out and do some laundry, wash some dishes, sort some clothes, get that quick homework assignment done, take an uninterrupted bath, or whatever your heart desires for that hour and a half. If you’re not done with your tasks after the movie is over, you can put on another movie if it’s not their bed time yet.
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3.STRUCTURED OUTSIDE TIME
Let’s be real, only super moms enjoys running around outside with their kids. But for me and I am sure most others, I don’t like the hot weather and cannot stand the cold weather. Absolutely get annoyed with the bugs within the first five minutes. And for the love of God, I am tired! We are allowed to be tired. Parents are still human. But kids don’t care about any of that, they just want to be outdoors.
Having a structured outside time allows for you to have control on what goes on outside and allows you to avoid hearing those dreadful words “Mom you can’t catch me.” It also allows you to be in control of how long you be outside.
Here’s how it works: Before heading outside, think of different things they can do that don’t involve much physical involvement from you. Also set a timer for how long you plan to be out there (I usually do 30 min to one hour depending on how I’m feeling and what all I still have to do inside the house) and make your kids aware of what they need to do when they hear that timer go off.
For an example: I bring out sidewalk chalk and instruct my kids to make three different drawings in one sidewalk square. When they are done, I come around and they get to tell me about their drawing.
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Another way I minimize my involvement is by facilitating their races. The best part: I can do it all while sitting down. I tell them where to start and stop. Then I say “READY, SET, JUMP” or “READY SET RUN” or “READY, SET, HOP.” You get the point. But they don’t know whether I’m going to say run or hop and that’s whats makes it exciting for them. When that timer goes off my kids automatically knows to start picking up any chalk or other things we brought out to bring inside. I usually have a small incentive for those who followed directions and didn’t fuss when it was time to go in. Which makes me again the “FUN” parent with minimal effort.
4.LOOK INVOLVED EVEN IF YOU AREN’T
Now there’s just those days, where you have to let your kids play independently in their rooms while you get things done. But you can still check in, even if it’s for a few seconds at a time. This will also keep down any conflict and allow you to keep naughty behavior at a minimum if they are aware that you are watching.
For an example: If I am putting laundry away I usually have to walk past their rooms. I’ll pop in and ask a question about what they’re doing. Just the other day, my daughters were playing with their kitchen and I said “OH my it smells good in here. What are you guys cooking?” Once they replied I said “yummy” and continued putting my laundry away.
The way kids are designed, even getting one second of your attention in a positive setting means the world to them.
5.MAKE SURE THE FREE TIME YOU DO HAVE IS MEMORABLE
You have a day off work? You finished some tasks early and have more time with the kids? Then don’t stick to your daily routine. Make this day fun and memorable for them, even if it’s only grabbing some ice cream. It’s not like they get many days when mom or dad isn’t too busy. Don’t waste any FREE TIME you have distracted on your phone or doing other things that don’t involve your kids. So make sure they remember it. Today, before making this posts, I finished my daily tasks at 1pm. I’m usually not done until closer to dinner time. So I ordered pizza and had a pizza party right in my kitchen. You can do an ice cream social and allow them to build their own sundaes. Or take them somewhere fun for an outing.
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Using some of these ideas will allow you to be a “playful” parent without interfering a lot with your busy schedule. If you know someone who can benefit from these ideas, please share.