Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Down and Dirty

I've learned quite a few things in the past 4 years working with kids as a teacher and as a mom. Most likely, we all learn things from kids every single day. There's nothing like a 3 year old to put life into perspective for us. As adults, we laugh about 15 times a day. Preschoolers laugh on average three hundred times a day! Life is just one big bowl of cherries to them. I can stick my tongue out at Brooke and she will laugh her head off. Just say the word "fart" and you'll have a 4 year old rolling with laughter. That is because life is just FUN for them. They have no stresses, no worries except when they'll go to the park or the pool again or if they're having hot dogs for dinner.

When dealing with our kids, we really need to put our stresses, worries, insecurities aside and get down on their level--which is pure happiness. I have learned the more I am a "kid" with my kids--and this goes for my students at school and my own kids--the more fun I have AND the more fun they have. Of course, there are times when parenting is serious business and you need to act like the adult. We as Educated, Common Sense parents know when those moments are. But sometimes we forget when those moments aren't.

For instance, at the park, sitting there and watching Brooke and Will play around is amusing and interesting. It's also slightly boring. If I sit there and watch, I am usually ready to go in about 10 minutes. But the other day, I got "down and dirty" with them. I took off my shoes, got into the sand and water, got a little messy and it was soooo much more fun than sitting there observing. Now this was a little outside my comfort zone, I have to say. But wow--what a difference it made in my trip to the park! It was just so much more fun.

I've noticed this in teaching, as well. I try to get directly involved with fun projects with the kids instead of watching and directing. Whether you're a teacher or a mom, it just makes your job so much more fun when you're on their level. I understand this may be outside some people's comfort zones. I can definitely hear some moms saying "That's just not my thing." Frankly, I didn't really think it was my thing, either...until I did it. Think about which would have the potential to make you laugh more? Watching....? ...or doing?

So let them paint your face. Take off your shoes and sit in the sandbox with them. Let them smear you with pudding. The years they'll want to do this with you are precious--and they'll be gone before we know it.

My favorite ways to get "down" with my kids

1. In the sandbox. I roll up my pants, take off my shoes and participate in their fun.

2. At the pool. It's nice tanning and a watching Brooke swim with her floaties. But it's much more FUN to get in and have a splashing contest!

3. Rolling around on the floor with Will and tickling him until he screams with laughter.

4. Playing "make up artist" with Brooke. I let her do my makeup. Of course it always turns out fabulous! :-)

5. Cooking. This is my all time favorite. I have really tried to let the control-freakish side of me go and let the mess just happen. They'll never learn how to break an egg if we never let them practice! Believe me, talk about waaaay outside my comfort zone!!

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