I don’t do silly.
I have a low tolerance for silly! I can admit this: it’s a struggle for me.
I know that ‘silly energy’ means something, but that doesn’t mean I like it – in fact, if I’m really being honest, it makes me uncomfortable ( true confession! )
In our house silly usually visits most at bedtime. I know on one hand that they are trying to avoid bedtime, they are sad that their day is over and/or they are enjoying time together and struggling to transition to bedtime.Although I KNOW this, I often don’t have the patience to endure this on the long end of MY day. Too bad – I’m the parent, they’re the kids – and ‘on the OTHER hand’ I want to enjoy these moments and put my kids to bed smiling rather than arguing and hearing myself say, “settle down” a million times.
Looks like I need to roll up my sleeves, dig deep and THINK about how to re-invent our bedtime routine!! (clearly bedtime is a hot topic in our house – remember the ‘Baffled by Bedtime’ blog – it’s like this is the pre-blog to that one – let’s see where silly fits in)
I think one of the reasons that ‘silly‘ freaks me out a little is that I worry it will escalate to ridiculous and be even harder to come down to reasonable, especially at bedtime.
The other reason is that silly often escalates until someone gets hurt. (Now I feel haunted by that OLD saying, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt” – thankfully I’ve never actually said that!)
Confusion Time: My default is to get angry, try and shut down the silly and control the situation, because I’m struggling with the silly energy. This is my issue, kids are happy when they’re silly and I’m the one who needs to work on creating space to accept an awfully happy emotion!
Here are some things we are trying out in our home to embrace silly… while holding some limits.
Try talking about the silly. Take the ‘power’ out of the silly energy by unpacking it, naming it and approaching it together with your kids.
This teaches emotional awareness on 2 counts;
- kids get to explain why they are feeling silly, and what their bodies need to do with silly energy
- you get to explain your feelings about silly, your worries and your body/brain reaction to the silly energy
“When I hear you guys getting silly, I worry that it’s going to be hard to settle down for bedtime or that one of you is going to get hurt.”
child “Don’t worry mom, we’re just having fun, we promise no one will get hurt!”
“Ok, I’ll let you guys have a bit more time before we go upstairs because it does sound like you’re having fun. I’ll set the timer, and then we’ll head upstairs.”
child “Thanks mom, we’ll come up when we hear the timer!”
(IF this works, it’s a win/win – I’ve expressed my worry and addressed it with setting a timer and the kids were able to express their opinion and feel heard.)
Try enjoying & embracing the silly. What? Did I just type that?? Oh dear…
You could simply sit and watch, smile and marvel at your kids. Be present, breathe deeply and enjoy.
I’ve noticed that our kids are ‘enjoying’ each other more lately. They are finding each other funny, they are talking about their days and asking each other for help. They are even inviting the other to play or build or watch a show – together.
I know this won’t last, our next hurdle is likely just around the corner, so I need to embrace their silly.
Sometimes. It’s not always going to be feasible to give them extra time, or to let the energy continue to build. However, it’s probably possible to find a few extra minutes for silly, more often than I care to admit.
One way that I am trying to accept the silly energy, and let it make me smile, is to plan for it.
- come upstairs earlier (start the bedtime routine sooner to create space for silly)
- play with the kids for a few minutes, really indulge
- step back, listen and let go of the need to control
This is my issue, kids are happy when they’re silly and I’m the one who needs to work on creating space to accept an awfully happy emotion!