Welcome back to the third instalment of my new series; Words To Live By. I can’t believe we are at week three already, where did that time go? If you are not familiar with the series here is the run-down:
Each week we change the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on the noticeboard in our kitchen; these are the words we try to live by individually and as a family that week. Some weeks may focus on lifting our mood, others may be about motivation or attitude to life; something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives. Changing the words each week stops them from becoming just another thing you walk past without really seeing, it keeps things fresh and stops them losing their power. This series is where I share those words with you in the hope they may help you and your family too.
Without further ado, this weeks words are:
Daily lives can be full of boredom, for adults and children alike. We all have to do things we’d rather not bother with, we all have moments when we wish we could be anywhere else, doing anything else. The more we focus on how boring/annoying/frustrating something is, the more bored/annoyed/frustrated we feel.
How many times have you tried to get a toddler to get dressed/tidy their toys etc only for them to suddenly find a million far more fun things to do, like runaway, get more toys out, walk around with a pair of pants on their head pretending they’ve gone blind? As frustrating as this is for us, we could learn a thing or two. They don’t want to get dressed/tidy up because it’s boring, they want to have fun and will go out of their way to find some.
I’m sure we have all heard how making tidying into a game can actually engage children, making it fun makes them much more likely to get on with it. Even back as far as babies in their highchair when they were refusing to eat, I bet you did the aeroplane noise or something similar to make it more fun and get them to open up. We all know the principle but somewhere along the line we forget it.
Also, despite knowing it works for children, we rarely apply the principle to ourselves. Dreading the housework? Turn some music on as loud as your neighbours will stand before calling noise control and sing and dance while you get on with it. You may feel a bit daft at first but I bet it will make the cleaning go faster and you’ll get a bit of a workout in too so you can truly deserve that cup of tea and a biscuit (or ten) when you are done (even if you do have to hide in the bathroom to avoid the kids while you scoff them). Better yet, get the kids involved and sing along together, set a challenge as to who can complete their jobs first and a forfeit for the loser, or have a five minute dance party once you complete a job/room.
Boring commute to work? Make the most of the child free time and read a book or magazine, or just daydream, if you’re driving crank the music up or listen to an audio book. Whatever it takes to move your mindset away from the negative side of your current situation and find something fun to occupy your mind for a while.
Whatever it is that you have to do, or you need your kids to do, try to find a way to make it fun. Sometimes it is enough to repeat the phrase in your head to realise that the kids aren’t being loud just to annoy you, they are having fun and maybe a little of it will rub off on you.
Having a laugh and a joke with the kids while getting them to do something not only makes it more likely they’ll do it without complaining, it makes everyone feel a little lighter and happier and closer too.
I am aware that not everything can, or even should, be fun. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find fun somewhere during the day. By actively telling yourself to look for it, you’ll be amazed how much lighter it can make you feel, even if it’s just being a little more accepting of the kids’ crazy hour.
Do you have any tips for making boring things more fun? If so, please share in the comments so we can all benefit x