Parenting can be really painful! Oh, I’ve read all of the quotes and articles and comments people have made about the joys of parenthood. But, let’s be honest. There are days we vow that our next time around we are not going to do the kid thing anymore! If any of my five children just happen to read this column, I don’t want them to take my comments personally. They have been terrific kids, as kids go. In fact, I have been told stories about how my own parents had some of these very same feelings. My mother was a third grade teacher and she loved her job. When I came along as a surprise, she didn’t think she could last being a full time mom until it was time for me to go to school. And guess what? She didn’t! Since my dad was the school superintendent, she was able to talk him into letting me start first grade at the age of five so she could go back to work!
I will say that over the years I have learned a secret that has helped me cope with parenthood more than anything else I have ever tried. The secret is learning how to be fun! I know that sounds silly. But, believe me, it really works. A few years ago I threw myself into the studies of fun and humor and one of the first things I learned is that most of us are not fun naturally! Knowing how to be fun is learned! Don’t assume I am talking about having fun. I am talking about being fun for others. Once I was able to develop some of the “be-fun strategies” my role as a parent became a lot easier. Let me explain to you why this works. People just love people who make them laugh. And guess what? People will just naturally listen to people they love!
Over the next few weeks I am going to share with you some “how to be more fun” tips. This not only works for us as parents but for us in the workplace, as well. Don’t worry, you won’t have to act like a clown or try to be a comedian or even tell jokes. It is so much easier than that. In fact, I am going to start you off this week with tip #1. Go out of your way to let the person you are with feel that you think they are fun. Laugh at things they say to you and tell them you really have fun with them. This will set the stage for future fun times together. When people think you are having a lot of fun with them, they are less disagreeable, more helpful,actually act like they are having fun, too and before you know it….the two of you really did have a fun experience!
Just one quick reminder to you about fun and humor any time or any place. Fun should never humiliate, hurt or embarrass anyone. It should not be sarcastic and it should be kind so that anyone who walks into the room could join in on the fun. I have learned that the best kind of fun and humor is when I do something silly or stupid and I make fun of myself. I am my best subject because I am doing silly and embarrassing things all of the time! People love to hang out with people who openly tell on themselves and admit they are not perfect. In fact, this week think of one of your most embarrassing moments and dare to share it with someone else. Believe me, they will love you for it…..especially if you tell one of your kids.