Cultivating the FUN: The Inner Work of Advent

Why is it that FUN is the first thing that often seems to run out the door when trying to “get it all done”?  I alluded to this in my last post about trying to put people before things, think about this time with small children as a season so as to not get so upset that every single thing is not being done from scratch right at this point.  It takes time to build traditions in the family, your children will  be watching you for many years as you build up the time you spend crafting, sewing, knitting, as they grow!  They will not remember that when they were two years old you did not knit all their winter sweaters by hand!  I promise!

So  where is the FUN??

I think FUN should be as much as a priority as crafting, sewing, cooking and cleaning.  And judging from the mothers I speak with, this is an area that is highly challenging for many of them and  they find this  difficult to develop.  “I just am not silly.  I can’t be silly.”  “It is hard for me to relax and spend time with my children without seeing everything else I should be doing.”  “My husband is the one that really can get down on the floor and have fun with them!”

Okay, yes, but  think back to some skill you had to learn – knitting, sewing, parenting in general! etc.  Did you just throw up your hands and say, “I can’t knit!  I just am not a knitter!” My point is that these things take time to develop.

Here is my Advent Adventure for you.  And here is the best part:  you only need ten minutes a day!  Set a timer if you have to, and set aside five minutes a day to just roll around on the floor with your kids climbing all over you.  Maybe the dog will join in!  Call it Monster or whatever you want to call it and just hug each other and wrestle and have fun!  If that doesn’t appeal to you, how about a five minute game of hide and go seek or tag?  Or five minutes of horsie rides?

For your second five minutes, try to cultivate a playful and FUN attitude whilst you are doing some of that work.  Make pancakes as part of a restaurant, do laundry as part of a pretend dry cleaners, use a silly voice, sing a silly song whilst you are doing something.  Too often we show our children that work is not fun; show them that anything can be fun if one has the right attitude!

Be in Joy this holiday season!


5 thoughts on “Cultivating the FUN: The Inner Work of Advent

  1. Very nice! Thank you.
    I’ve been doing exactly this for the past week (without the timer) and found myself feeling guilty today because I knew there were “things that needed to be done” and my husband has been helping out lately. I have to admit that I didn’t stop playing because the sound of laughter was too sweet.
    Thanks for reminding me that that is exactly how its supposed to be.

  2. Thank you for this reminder! It is easy to get caught up in sticking to the household routines of completing all the daily tasks of cleaning and cooking, but remembering to have fun while doing it is important!

    My kids think it is great fun to pretend I am a dragon when I am vacuuming… all I have to do is roar and pretend to vacuum up their stuffed animals and dolls and they think it is hilarious!

  3. I’m glad you brought that up Carrie. I just happen to be reading a book right now called Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, a psychologist who advocates playfulness to build connections and rebuild broken connections with your children.

    He says that maintaining the connection is the most important thing with your kids (as also advocated by Hold on to your Kids, by Gabor Mate) and that playfulness both directly and while doing chores is the key to open the door to ongoing parental/child connections.

    Here’s a direct quote from the book, “play serves our incredible – almost bottomless – need for attachment and affection and closeness” p. 6

    I think too often we forget the joy and playfulness in all of us in our ernest efforts to be good parents, but we are playful animals and play isn’t something we are not capable of or should forego. I must say that when I am playful with my kids I feel more connected to them, more energetic, more creative, and more happy!

  4. Pingback: The Inner Work of Advent « The Parenting Passageway

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