One difference between happy parents and stressed out parents is the ability to embrace silly. There are some who think that being a parent means you always have to act like an adult. This is not only exhausting, but it is also not the best approach to take. Timing is everything, of course, but a silly parent can often be an effective parent.
A Silly Parent Connects
The most important side effect of a parent that can act silly is that they connect. This is like royalty or a president. There are those that are always regal in their demeanor and give that air of authority. However, there are also those that can pause their “regal-ness” and connect to the common man. Thus, you have a “man of the people.”
This same effect occurs with children. A parent does not have to be their child’s friend, but occasionally acting silly allows one to get down on their level. Those moments of silliness help children see their parents as humans. This proves to be a far better way to approach than an unapproachable authoritarian.
It Works For All Ages
Anyone that has spent time with pre-teen children knows that silliness is a part of their DNA. That is why we equate silliness with childishness so often. When you think about it, there is a large gap between young children and parents. The young ones have lived through and seen very little. However, the adults have seen enough to equate to multiple lifetimes of their children. When an adult acts silly and connects using the child’s language, it is greatly appreciated by the child.
Teenagers are known for their seriousness but do not let that fool you. The serious and “adult” attitude of a teenager is what they think they need to be. It comes from what they think is expected of them to be “grown up.” Most of them still remember the freedom of being silly when they were just a few years younger. When a parent acts silly it lets the teenager know that it is ok to be less than serious at times. These moments often are a fun experience for the adults. Initially, the teenager will act aghast at the behavior of their elder. However, that tends to fade, and soon the teen can not help them self from laughing and maybe even joining in.