When you are in the thick of the “tantrum stage” of parenting, sometimes it’s the farthest thing from your mind to try to be the fun mom. Sometimes it’s more about getting through the day than anything else, and naturally overflowing with fun isn’t something we’re able to do.
Looking back on years of tantrums in our house, (and yes, we still deal with them today!), I’ve realized that fun is an important aspect of a child’s day with their mom, even in the middle of a rough patch.
One fun mom rule I’ve made in our house is that no one goes to bed without giggling. Even on those days when I’m practically counting the minutes to bedtime, I’ll turn on some silly music so we can spin around and dance until we’re all giggling for one or two songs before we brush teeth, or initiate a tickle fight. It’s a great reminder for me, and my kids, that this difficult season won’t last forever and our love and laughter matters a whole lot more than the bad day we had today.
A change of scenery always helps too! I’ve found if my kids are having a rough day at home, it can be worth it to drop everything and go to the park for a little while. Running, playing and being in the sunshine helps everyone’s moods and reminds me that even bad days can be fun! See fun outdoor activities for fun moms here. If the weather isn’t allowing you to go outdoors, you can still be a fun mom with these indoor activities.
So many times kids throw tantrums because they need something. Usually, it’s more time with mom or dad. Even 5 to 10 minutes of time spent with the child one on one can do wonders for how they are behaving. We always try to do this in-between tantrums so it doesn’t seem like they are being rewarded for their naughtiness but they also get the extra time they need that day.
Once, I realized I’d made it through the day with my son doing little but correct him, as he was throwing tantrum after tantrum. He was in bed, and I’d broken my own rule about giggling with my kids every day. Instead of waiting until the next day to address it, I decided to get him up and take him for ice cream. He had no idea why we did this, except that it was a special “just because” surprise for him. I did this because I knew he couldn’t put into words that he was needing some extra attention, and instead he was behaving poorly. I did it because I wanted the chance to smile and have fun with him at the end of a long and difficult day of motherhood.
Remember to be a fun mom in the middle of the most challenging stages of parenting isn’t easy. But, in my opinion it’s the very best way you can survive the toddler years with a smile!