Find the Fun Already!

Overheard conversation between adult and child:

“I’m going to a party.”
“Oh? Who’s?”
“Ethan’s.”
“Oh. That’s nice.”
“Yeah. I’m going to have fun there. And, I am going to have fun all the time.”
“Wow. Wish I could. It doesn’t work that way when you are an adult.”

As I was listening to that exchange between an adult and child, I really wanted to ask this question: “Why can’t you have fun, at least most of the time?” I am not suggesting that adults be irresponsible and lazy, nor am I suggesting that one has to be funny or silly all the time. There is a time for everything, as the popular sixties song states. When there is a need to be serious, of course, you must be serious.

Silly can be good�right? Yes I am serious while advocating silliness. But most adults think silliness is just for kids. Why? Why do adults have to lose their silliness when they grow up? Where is that written? While being silly has its place like everything else in life, being silly in front of your kids is perhaps the best parenting skill you can learn. They will most likely not think you are stupid or irresponsible, but that you can have fun and love life. Kids respond to a silly/fun person in a positive way. As long as you realize when they need the serious side of you, being silly/fun more often can lighten your environment dramatically! Just think-when you are laughing, or having fun in your own activities, what are your children doing? Laughing along with you!

During the serious times, when your kids know that you are normally a fun person, they tend to be more forthcoming to you about what is bothering them. Be open, approachable, and loving-they will pick up on that and respond the way you want. Remember, “It’s easier to ride the horse in the direction he is going.” (Warner Earhardt, 1973.) Plus, it is easier to get over the serious times when you practice finding the fun.

When you don’t have to be serious, why be serious? Why not find the fun in the normal, everyday things you have to do? As parents, our kids look to us to fulfill their needs, including their fun quotient. Imagine a cup that could never be filled, because the cup holder keeps taking what little bit of fun placed in that cup. Overflow the cup daily-fill that fun quotient need.

I imagine, if you are like most people, you take at least one major vacation per year. And, maybe you go to a few major events, such as sporting events, per year. Are those the fun times? I would hope so. I suppose that you and your family look forward to those times all year long, only toâÂ?¦what? Feel that the time was too short? Disappointed that you have to return to the mundane and boring lives you left for a short while? Why does that have to happen? Why can’t your everyday lives be fun as well?

Finding the fun in little things can be a challenge if you are not tuned into where it is hiding. The little things could be as simple as tying your child’s shoes, or as complex as helping your child with math homework. When I tie my son’s shoes, I make funny faces at him and growl a little. That always cracks him up, but it also helps him stay still long enough for me to get them tied. Plus, that bonds us in a way that seriousness never can.

What makes the little, boring things fun? It’s all about your state of mind. If you constantly worry about the bills, or your job, or your relationship with your spouse, you are not going to be in the mindset to have fun. Take care of any problems you may have so that you can be in the state of mind to find the fun in the little things. It also takes imagination. Get in the habit of exercising your imagination by tuning into what your children are doing. If you see them wiggling their arms or legs, take that opportunity to wiggle yours as well. ThenâÂ?¦lead them “flying” around the room, making airplane noises while you “fly”. This gives you a great workout, plus you will overflow your kids’ fun quotient. How can you find the fun in every day, little things?

Here are some steps you can take to overflow the “fun cup”:

1.Sing songs your kids know in a different way. Use a higher, or lower voice tone than what is used in the songs. Young kids love experimenting with their own voice tones, so this could be a great way to interact with them.

2.Turn on the music and dance around the house. Don’t worry if you cannot dance; chances are, neither can your kids. It’s entertaining to them, and you get a great workout at the same time! They, being active by nature, will love getting involved and will join your dancing, and it is such a great way to get them to be active more often.

3.Watch your kids playing�or coloring�or watching TV�or anything else they love doing. Notice the way they put their all into whatever they are doing. They have nothing stopping them from enjoying themselves�learn from them. You have nothing stopping you from enjoying yourself either.

4.Language is essential to your well-being, including keeping fun in
your life. If you think you will find the fun, you will.

I once saw a quote, “Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” They need your timeâÂ?¦no matter what you are dealing with, whether it is paying bills, working from home, or even relaxing. When they are grown up, it is too late to capture their attention and you will have lost a golden opportunity to connect with them. If they cannot feel that they can connect with you because you are too serious all the time, and never spend time with them, that is what they will remember when they grow up. But, if you take the time to be with them, and spend that time having fun, they will remember that.

The more you think about how you can have fun everyday, the more you will find it. The mind is amazing in this way. You can think about every nasty thing in your life, and you will become nasty, or you can focus on the fun and the happy things in life, and you will become happy. This way of thinking may take some time and it may “feel” fake at first, because you are not used to thinking that way. But, the more you do it, the more real it becomes for you until it is second nature.
When you have fun in life, and with your kids, they see you as approachable. Keep it fun, yet responsible. You can be fun and silly, but you must set and keep limits. There is a fine balance there, and when you have mastered it, you can have fun every single day of your life. Not every moment in your life will be fun, but you have within you the power to have a fun life.

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