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When you’re working at home with kids, one thing is certain.
There are going to be interruptions, and days that don’t go according to your plans. When everything seems to spiral out of control, remember that you still get to decide how you respond. You can get mad and watch the attitudes spiral down even further along with yours, or you can try something different.
By using humor, you can lighten the tension. You can encourage your kids to cheer up, and then redirect them into what they were supposed to be doing.
Ways to Integrate Humor
I used to feel a bit silly when I got humorous with the kids. But, it works so well that it’s now become almost second nature. They love to laugh, and join me in being silly.
Here are some of my favorite tricks to pull out when we’re having a bad day:
Singing Silly Songs
Just a few verses of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Mama’s Soup Surprise, or Down by the Bay work wonders for turning moods around.
Balancing Objects on My Head
I put something on my head, and try to walk across the room. Books are a bit boring, but my kids love it when I try with a banana, shoe, or toy on my head!
After a few steps, I usually bend down dramatically and let the object fall. I try to catch it, but don’t always succeed.
Then we take a couple turns seeing who can walk with the best posture.
Making Up a Quick, Fun Game
It can be anything, just look around the room to get some inspiration. Here are two examples:
- Ask your kids to do three things, and then reward them with something small like a chocolate chip. One we did recently went like this: Everyone line up against the wall. To earn a chocolate chip, you have to butt scoot across the room, sing the ABCs when you reach the bench, and then crab walk back.
- Stack up four couch pillows on the ground. Sit on the top and lift up your feet. See how long you can balance.
These activities require movement, are easily lengthened or shortened depending on how much time you have, and are fun. Those three elements do wonders for whiny kids.
Talking in a Funny Voice
Plug your nose, go high, or go low–there are plenty of ways to sound funny. When they’re in the middle of a meltdown, my kids tend to stop and listen a little more when I sound different.
If my kids are whining, I occasionally resort to my own form of exaggerated whining. It doesn’t take too many “Whhhhhhyyyyyyy dooooo I havvvvvve to doooo thaaaaaaat?” before they ask me to stop. Whining is annoying!
A Knock Knock Joke
My kids love a good knock knock joke! The interactive component of these jokes helps pull them into the fun. My favorite is the old school long one:
Orange who? (kids usually rolling their eyes at this point…)
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana!
Have your kids take turns telling a couple jokes too.
Integrate Humor, Then Get Back to It
Once you’ve successfully turned the mood around with some humor, it’s time to transition back into whatever needs to be done. Hopefully everyone has a little more pep in their step and less whine in their voice after the fun.
What other ways do you integrate humor into your day?
I’d love for you to share your funniest distractions in the comments.
I Is For…
You’ll find out tomorrow what I is for. Any guesses?
Need to catch up? Find the previous posts in this series below:
A is for Accepting Limitations
B is for Begin by Filling Their Cups
C is for Create a Work Space
D is for Dare to Dream
E is for Engage Your Kids
F is for Fight Fear
G is for Get Outside
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.