Friday, April 27, 2012

Parenting Tips: Planned Spontaneity

By: Deborah Pace Rowley
Have you noticed that kids love it when their parents act spontaneously? It is exhilarating to let go of the routine, forego the rules, and just play together. The problem is…I can’t do it! I must be completely lacking in the spontaneous gene because, even if I could let go of MY PLAN (which I can’t!), I couldn’t think of a spontaneous action if my life depended on it.

So I cheat in this department. I plan ahead for moments that I can make seem spontaneous. I buy a kite and store it in the trunk of my car. Then I watch the weather for a windy day so that I can pick up the kids at school and “spontaneously” announce, “Let’s be crazy and go fly a kite today!” All the kids cheer as I wink and nod knowingly to myself in the rearview mirror. What a fun Mom I am! The amazing thing is that if I had made this announcement at family council, “Let’s go fly a kite on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.” my plan would have resulted in grumbles of disapproval and disinterested stares. Trust me, I have tried this approach. There is something about flinging it on kids spontaneously that makes the idea wildly popular.
If you are the predictable, day-planner type, (you know who you are) give planned spontaneity a try. Next time you are folding a mountain of socks into neat little balls, don’t put them away. Instead, sneak the laundry basket behind the couch. Then when Dad is pulling into the driveway, “spontaneously” gather all the kids behind the sofa for an impromptu sock war as soon as Dad enters the house. You won’t need to give Dad a heads up. He will jump right into the action, grabbing up socks and pelting them back at his giggling and screaming offspring. You will just smile, knowing that you had planned this spontaneous moment of family fun all along!
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  1. So true that kids love spontaneity! And I like your idea of planned spontaneity bc not everyone is naturally good at that.

    Thank you so much for linking up to the Sunday Parenting Party. I hope you come back again tomorrow to link up another article.


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