We have tons of trees In our yard. Once a week, in October, we’d all have to go out to rake leaves. After a while it gets boring. Then my dad would stop and throw us in a big pile of leaves. That was like a break from work and everything and it was fun.
If fun is a universal language, then childhood is it’s native tongue.
When we share enjoyable activities with our children. relationships are strengthened and barriers to communication removed. In fact, because this QP factor came up over and over again In our interviews, we believe that It hi one of the surest ingredients for quality parenting.
One way in make things fun Is to do the unexpected. By providing a twist In the usual routine, unpleasant task can be turned into an enjoyable event.
Eating leftovers is not something most families eagerly anticipate, yet one creative family managed to turn it into a favorite weekly event: Every Sunday afternoon we have a picnic inside the house.
Mom spreads our old camping blanket on the dining-room Boor. She serves all the leftovers to the refrigerator that she wants to get rid of. Sometimes the mixtures we eat are real weird but nobody much minds. We use paper Oates and plastic forks just like on a real picnic.
Dad ICANCI4 Mom about how next week he’s going to bring some ants so will really Mink were outside.
Since most people enjoy a friendly challenge, we can make things fun by turning everyday happenings into a game.
The fun is spoiled, however, when the competition becomes too intense. In fact. in some of the best games family members team up against the clock or the Job at hand rather than against each other.
For example, the Pushkin family was able to turn getting dressed for school into Real the Clock:
I used to have trouble getting ready for school. Mom yelled a lot and Dad threatened not to let me watch TV if I didn’t hurn up. Then they surprised me with a little box wrapped with la his blue how. I was so excited because it wasn’t my birthday or anything.
Inside was a kitchen timer and a note that said, Congratulations. You have Just been selected as a contestant on Bent the Clock. Each morning your parents will set the timer for thirty minutes when they wake you up. If you are dressed and downstairs furore the timer goes off, you win the game.” For my prize sometimes I get a sticker or an extra-big hug.
Some parents make it fun by making it funny.
One mother found a humorous cure for deafness to parents. Instead of resorting to the usual disciplinary tactics, when she wanted her children’s a tension she simply talked to them in a voice with a funny accent. This mom could imitate a Texas cowboy a southern belle a squawking parrot even a modern computer.