It would stifle the connection and engagement. It would create distance. Last night a friend of mine came over for dinner with her daughter. We all felt very connected and engaged with each other.
Silly Eric by Gracie Wright
The difference is the meaning or intention behind the word. And this is where it gets dicey. How an adult interprets language can be very different from how a child interprets language. And joy is one of the best parts of living. When a chid is feeling joy, he or she is not feeling pain, neglect, confusion, self doubt, or fear. These are things that can distort the developmental phases of a child which can lead to such things as arrested development and insecurities as an adult.
Simply put, a child needs to be a child, and part of being a chid is being silly. And as a parent, when you take part in being silly, you are role modeling that life can be fun, joyous, and happy. You are role modeling that life is a safe place full of security and acceptance. Children look to their parents for such cues on a daily basis.
- Foundation Stories (Stories from Bennett Bay Book 1).
- Deu Seu (Italian Edition).
- ARK (The Natural Selection Trilogy Book 1).
- Silly Songs.
We set the emotional tone of the household and beyond. Related to providing an atmosphere of comfort and safety, being silly also helps your child develop the mechanisms he or she needs to cope with stress. Life is certainly stressful a large part of the time, and childhood is stressful as well. Childhood is essentially a training period for adulthood, and training is always mixed with uncertainty and potential failures.
Children are constantly pushing through obstacles at every phase of their youth to succeed at any given milestone. As infants, they are learning to communicate their basic needs. As toddlers, they are learning to walk, to talk, and to comprehend. As young children, they learn to read, to go by the rules and to think outside of themselves.
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Then they learn to do well in school, to develop an expertise such as sports or music, and to be good citizens. Then they learn social norms, self confidence, and what it means, and takes, to be fulfilled. All of this is stressful to a degree as failure along any path can have lifelong consequences.
Critical self confidence is also at stake. So helping your child relax by being silly puts the bigger picture of goal attainment in proper context.
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They understand that life is serious and sometimes scary, but one can have fun along the way. They are able to fight through obstacles as they have a sense of well being. Being silly with your child is one of the most important aspects in bonding with your child. As discussed earlier, children are naturally silly.
So when you are being silly with him or her, you are meeting them in the space where they reside. And meeting your child where they are is the best way to pull them to the next level. When a child enjoys your company, he or she will go to great lengths to maintain that bond. And when you have expectations of him or her, they will feel compelled to meet those expectations in order for the bonding and the good times to continue. You will also develop a level of respect from your child.
In allowing your child to be silly and even participating in the silliness, you are sending a message that you are respecting his or her needs. And being silly is the best way in building this strong bond. Communication from your child will also improve as they feel a connection with you. And since they also feel that respect from you, they will feel that you may understand their perspective. And as we all know, communication about certain issues, especially as they grow older, is the key to keeping your children on the right path. Being silly seems like a contradiction to this important area.
Adherence to the rules is important and parents certainly should not let their children be silly all of the time nor in all situations. There is a time and place for everything. But since you have built a strong relationship with your child on foundations of respect and acceptance, he or she will be more apt to follow your lead and prompts regarding rules and expectations. Most of the time when a child acts out, it is because a basic need of his or hers is not being met. This extends to adolescence when the child will be faced with choices regarding risky behaviors such as drinking, drugs or early sex.
Being silly with your child is a whole, wonderful dimension of its own. It is a place for outside of the box thinking, for puns, and for working the brain through the conduit of unleashed boundaries. In short, it opens up a new world full of creativity and wonder. By the 30th word or so you will be thinking of words that are barely words. And you will be having fun dong it.
He or she will be having fun and they will not realize the extent of their brain activity. This creative thinking will become second nature and will become a part of how they approach problems in the future as they have been positively conditioned to think abstractly and differently. Their future bosses will certainly appreciate their creative solutions to the ever present problems.
As parents, we can benefit from it as well.
But if you let yourself go and let yourself be in the moment with your child, your silly side will come out. You will see the benefits of decompression, relaxation, feeling close with your child, and knowing you are having an impact. I remember exactly how I felt when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. It was a whirlwind of emotions from excitement to anticipation, but also a lot of wondering if I was going to be a good parent.
After all, as a first time mom, I had no idea what it even meant to parent. I read all the books and did all the research I could fit between naps as my belly grew bigger and bigger. I got this , I thought, and then you proved me wrong. You were born three weeks early via C-section. We didn't even have our hospital bag or car seat with us because it all happened so quickly.
You were already teaching me the first lesson of being a mom: From now on, we were doing things your way, not mine. I remember the first time you looked at me and said "mama," connecting that word to my face. I remember when I offered you food and you had enough so you shook your head "no," already so confident in your own opinions. I remember when you let go of my hand and took your first steps alone, tears running down my face because you were growing so fast.
There are days that I wish you could stay little for a bit longer. That you could fit in the crook of my arm while I sing you a song to calm you down after the dog knocked you over. I feel a little sad when I pack favorite outfits that don't come close to fitting you anymore. I find myself staring at the photos on my phone of when you were a tiny peanut, so new to this world. Because seeing you become the person you are is magical.
I know what your favorite color is because you love to dress yourself all in green. You spend hours in your room reading books and transporting yourself into different adventures inside your creative mind. You know the lyrics to songs I'm clueless about and you roll your eyes at me when I mess them up, already letting me know I'm embarrassing you.
I love the confidence you have when you run up the steps of your school with your giant backpack carrying all your projects, and you wave goodbye at me excited to learn more about the world. When we took you to your first movie--to watch your eyes widen at the magic you saw on the screen—and to introduce you to some of my own childhood favorites like Dumbo. Watching your personality soar makes me look forward to what's going to come next. I cannot wait to be there for you when you fall in love for the first time, or when you need to stay up late studying for that important test.
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It only means you're growing more and more into yourself. And all the hard work we put in, all the sleepless nights we spent next to you and all the support we gave you, is giving you the confidence you need to let go of our hands and fly. I'm in awe of who you already are, and I can't wait to keep watching you grow. But let's not fast-forward time just yet. Instead, let's enjoy today. Because today is what matters right now. That way we can be more involved in her interests and be able to chat about what we take away from the movie after.
It also gives her confidence in knowing that she has a voice that can be heard.