Start Finding the Fun in Parenting… and Enjoy 3 Key Benefits!
By Karen Thurm Safran, author of Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.
You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game.”
Mary Poppins was a master at using games to turn unpleasant tasks into something fun. My parents may not have been Mary Poppins and her sidekick Bert, but they believed in this playful, positive parenting philosophy. With a “can do!” spirit, they created games to turn around everyday frustrating moments.
It was like magic!
Goodbye nagging, yelling and power struggles. Life becomes more enjoyable for both the kids—and parents.
I wrote Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It to share this simple technique. This book of light-hearted stories shows playful ways to stop struggling with your child and start having more fun. If it helped me as a stressed-out single mom, it could help anyone.
Here are three key benefits of using games to overcome everyday obstacles.
Benefit #1: You’ll Have More Fun Being a Parent
Being a parent is rewarding, but it’s also stressful and a lot of hard work. Like many parents, you’re probably overwhelmed with a never-ending to-do list. It seems like a constant push-pull struggle with your kids. They don’t willingly listen or cooperate. Why can’t they just behave! It’s exhausting getting them ready in the morning, there are ongoing frustrations throughout the day, and it’s a challenge getting them to bed on time.
Now imagine a morning that flows without having to scream, “Hurry up! We must leave!” Instead, your children move as if on automatic pilot. They get dressed without having to search for certain items, eat breakfast, put dishes in the sink, and grab their things that are already by the door. With a morning list and race to beat the clock, the morning madness becomes a marvelous magical morning. Do you have toddlers and young kids? No problem. Just simplify the process and gradually add more responsibilities.
There’s definitely a better way to deal with chores, tantrums, long car rides, standing in line, writing a paper, organizing school work, waiting at the gas pump, sitting through a long service, and whatever annoying situations pop up throughout the day. The list goes on and on.
You can gain control and have fun in the process, as shown with each whimsical Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It story. Just spark your playful spirit and create games to ease challenging moments. Wear bathing suits on your head, play a guessing game, search for letters, race to music, dance while preparing dinner, use everyday objects to organize items, sing songs to remember key facts, and whatever else you invent. This playful approach keeps kids entertained when they’re bored and disruptive. It calms them when they’re upset and melting down. It stops them from whining and fussing. It even makes writing papers, organizing school work, and project planning amusing for school-age kids.
With this “can do!” attitude and some imagination, “SNAP! The job’s the game.” Your kids willingly listen and cooperate. And when you’re on the same team, parenting becomes fun, and you enjoy being with your kids.
Benefit #2: You’ll Empower Your Kids
When someone yells at you to do something, it doesn’t make you feel good. Well, your kids don’t like it either. And when someone teaches you how to accomplish a task, you feel empowered and your self-esteem improves. Well, that’s how kids feel.
While it’s fun to play games, it’s also empowering. Through playful activities, you’re teaching children real-world living skills, developing coping techniques, and building confidence.
Let’s take the example of getting kids ready in the morning and at night. Sure you can make their lunches, get breakfast ready, gather their things by the door, and do everything for them. But that’s exhausting for you and disadvantageous for them. Instead, when you establish a routine, you teach children responsibility, time management, planning, and real-world tasks. Even a toddler can learn to be responsible, starting with age-appropriate, small items.
Now tie this into a game, and these mundane tasks and boring experiences become fun. You can march to the sink with dirty dishes, guess how many songs it will take to clean your room, and play virtual traveling games while walking through a long airport.
Games also help children deal with unpleasant and stressful situations. Life is hard and we can’t always protect our children. Did you know that playfulness can tackle fears? In Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It, the mom creates fun activities to combat her children’s shyness, her daughter’s fear of flying, and her son’s fear of spiders. Yes, even spiders!
Fostering independence, teaching coping skills, and empowering our children are some of the greatest gifts we can provide. These techniques are skills they’ll use throughout their life and tools for instilling confidence.
Benefit #3: Your Family Will Spend More Quality Time Connecting
When you deal with unpleasant moments playfully, you end up spending more quality time with your children. No more nagging and yelling parents. Goodbye fussing and uncooperative kids. Farewell meltdowns.
Which would your family prefer? Dragging moping kids through a museum or looking at art playfully and actively. Screaming at kids to unpack after a nice trip or playing an unpacking game to music? Grumbling at your sick toddler to drink or playing a game where it’s fun to drink liquids? Telling your kids to stop complaining about standing in a long line or playing a game where you gather facts to determine the wait time? I don’t know about you, but I MUCH prefer the latter options and so does the mom in Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It.
By playfully overcoming obstacles, you avoid unpleasant situations and combative interactions. And through the process, you turn chaotic moments into cherished memories and spend quality time connecting as a family.
So, the next time you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, take a deep breath and think of Mary Poppins. Spark your playful spirit and create games to ease these challenging moments. Find the “element of fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game.” You’ll have more fun being a parent. Your kids will be empowered. And your family will spend more quality time connecting.
You can learn more about this book, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It.
If you’re interested, you can buy the book on Amazon.
About the Author, Karen Thurm Safran
Karen Thurm Safran works as a marketing executive in K-12 education technology, making learning fun for kids. She has a BA degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA from Santa Clara University. Even though she works in an exciting industry, being a mom is by far her favorite job. As a parent, she gets to apply her problem-solving, organizational, and leadership skills to empower those she loves most–her two children.
When Karen’s children were young, she found that parenting became more enjoyable, rewarding, and empowering when she used a positive and playful style, innovatively creating games to deal with everyday challenges. She wrote Parenting–Let’s Make a Game of It in memory of her parents, and to spark playful parenting, encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and ease frustrating moments.
Author: Karen Thurm Safran
Release Date: 4-8-2018
Blurb: Being a parent is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also stressful. And a lot of hard work! There are ongoing struggles and never-ending issues. Wouldn’t you like to make parenting more fun?
Through light-hearted stories, learn playful ways to stop struggling with your child and start having more fun. Parenting can be exhausting and overwhelming. Your kids are whining, not listening, uncooperative—even melting down. We’ve all been there! Instead of nagging, yelling, and getting into power struggles, this book uses games to overcome everyday challenges. You’ll have more fun as a parent. You’ll empower your kids. And your family will spend more time connecting.
Like many parents, the mom in these stories faces typical frustrations during her children’s toddler through elementary school years. When she changes her approach, things quickly improve. Tension turns to quality time. And life becomes more playful.
You’ll Discover Ways to:
- Interact with your children so they willingly listen and cooperate.
- Stop your kids from misbehaving and throwing tantrums.
- Reduce the struggles of parenting the strong-willed child.
- Teach overwhelmed and upset children coping skills and calming techniques.
- Learn creative ideas for conflict resolution.
- Experience less parenting stress and more joy with your kids.
Get Ready to See Things Differently
Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It will spark your playfulness and turn chaotic moments into cherished memories.
What are you waiting for? Parenting, let’s make a game of it!
My review of Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It:
This is a fabulous book written by a fun mom who knows how to make parenting a game – and makes it easier for everyone! This book contains stories with examples of how to turn a tricky parenting situation from kids whining to engagement and excitement. I’m quickly noticing when I put on a huge smile and make a situation sound fun rather than tedious, my preschooler is much more receptive and we have fewer battles. Two thumbs up from us both!