Hooray, it’s summer!
Warm days with sunny skies.
And the kids are home!
That’s right. During the summer, we get to spend more time with our wonderful kids.
Lots more time.
Yup, three months… that’s about 12 weeks.
That’s nearly 100 days.
And if we spend 10 hours a day…
OMG, that’s about 1,000 hours. One thousand hours!
But think of all the fun things we can do.
Adventurous, long road trips.
Ugh, trapped in the car with endless complaints, “Are we there yet? How much longer?”
Lazy, mellow days at home.
Well… more like whining, bored kids fighting over the TV remote.
Special family time together.
Yeah, real special with the “I don’t wanna,” “C’mon, just a few more minutes,” and “Not now” power struggles.
Yeeks! Hundreds of power struggles.
Argh! My kids are driving me crazy. Um… how many more days until daycare resumes and school starts?
Want to Make Parenting Easier?
I’m Karen, a mom with two grown kids, and I’ve gone through lots of summer months.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom, more than anything in the world. But who loves the ongoing conflict?
I still shudder remembering blinking away tears when my kids wouldn’t cooperate. When they’d narrow their eyes and inhale sharply before screaming, resisting anything I said.
Life is way too short to deal with these frustrating moments.
While it’s impossible to completely remove all of the conflicts, there is a way to drastically reduce the number of power struggles.
Want to know how?
The Secret: Make Parenting a Game
My parents had a trick.
They adopted a positive attitude, used their imagination, and created games to turn frustrating moments into family fun.
This playful approach avoids confrontations, ends arguments, encourages cooperation, and even gets kids to help around the house.
Yes, being playful seems counterintuitive during these stressful situations, but it works like magic.
If it helped me as a stressed-out single parent, it can help you.
And once you’re introduced to the concept, you can easily start applying it to your own life.
It’s really not that hard.
Instead of yelling, “Hurry up and get ready! We must leave now!”
Create a Beat-the-Clock Racing game.
Instead of nagging, “You need to clean up!”
Turn on music and have everyone guess how long it will take to finish.
Instead of worrying that your children’s messy hands will smear the walls or get the furniture dirty.
Start marching and singing to a favorite tune, like “The Farmer in the Dell.” “Put your hands in the air. Put your hands in the air. March to the sink with your hands in the air.”
Introducing: Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It
Loosely based on how I raised my kids, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It will spark your playfulness and make parenting more rewarding.
You’ll learn playful ways to stop struggling with your child and start having more fun.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
As this proverb states, showing is way more effective than straight-out teaching.
That’s why I show the “how to” messages through easy to read, light-hearted, anecdotal stories. They only take 5-10 minutes to read, so it’s perfect for waiting in line or during brief spurts of time.
Written in a snarky, “let’s-be-real” tone, this entertaining book inspires clever ways to get toddlers, school-age children, and even headstrong kids to cooperate—willingly!
Not only does this playful approach makes parenting easier, but it also empowers your children and connects families.
Why People Love This Book
✔ Entertaining. “Since it reads like fiction, you can kick back and relax while reading it.” —Katie Chambers, parent
✔ Easy to Read. “I loved that when I was busy and only had a few minutes, I could quickly read one of the stories. It was like reading a mini-book with a beginning and an end, with humor and food for thought in between, and it reminded me of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.” —Amazon customer
✔ Easy to Implement. “Quick tips that can be implemented and useful to moms and dads, so they’re happier raising kids, is worth taking a look at.” —Sunflower DC
✔ Connects Families. “I’m quickly noticing when I put on a huge smile and make a situation sound fun rather than tedious, my preschooler is much more receptive and we have fewer battles. Two thumbs up from us both!” —Julie, “Fab Working Mom Life” mommy blogger
✔ Not Dull or Academic “The author gives you a ton of new strategies, and she writes in a fun way that keeps you turning pages, not the dull, academic style of many other parenting books. I cannot recommend this enough!” —Tracey Price, parent
✔ Relatable. “The characters and situations are so easy to relate to- it’s like she was describing my own family’s day and challenges!” —P. Stanners, parent
✔ Refreshing. “It is refreshing to read a book of parenting ideas, that is as much fun to read as the ideas are to implement.” —Deborah Hoffman, parent and speech language pathologist
Sparks Your Playfulness
Don’t just listen to me, here’s how Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It has helped others.
Shannon from Toronto
“Thank you for your fabulous ideas. Last night, I needed the kids to help clean the house, fast… they wanted to see a quick episode on TV, but I really needed the house cleaned up before we had people over. I said, “okay… here’s the deal… I’m going to call out 10 random clean-up tasks each… and 10 for me too. When we’ve each done 10, we’ll watch the show. As soon as you’ve done a task, come back quickly and I’ll give you another.” The house, seriously, was tidied up in FIVE minutes. 🙂 🙂 Have I mentioned, ‘thank you, Karen!!’??”
Jody from Miami
“As you can imagine, my two-year-old granddaughter was sobbing uncontrollably when we couldn’t find her special yellow dress. While her mom and I frantically searched the house, she only cried and screamed louder. We could see a meltdown ready to erupt. After a few minutes of this two-year-old catastrophe, I remembered your trick. I clasped my hands and squealed, “We’re going to play a mystery game! Want to play with us?” It was amazing. She immediately stopped crying and held my hand while I cheerfully said, “Is your yellow dress in this drawer? Let’s look! Nope, not in there. Where else could it be?” Pretty soon she was squealing with us as we went through the house and finally found it in the dryer. You’re right, it works! The game changed this dreaded event into something fun. Thanks! :-)”
Julie, “Fab Working Mom Life” mommy blogger from Honolulu
“This morning we were driving to my son’s OT appointment and he was sleepy and in a bad mood. To help the situation and cheer him up, I started a little I Spy game, asking him to name things of a particular color he saw out the window. He really got into it, telling me he saw the grass and trees for something green, and the sky and cars when I asked for something white (no sunshine today, unfortunately, just an overcast day). Then we started talking about the trucks and I Spy-ing various bulldozers and excavators. My four-year-old’s mood improved, and we got to the office asking and answering questions, which is also one of our goals for Speech Therapy.”
Meghan from Salt Lake City
“I’ve gotten some great ideas from your book (you inspired me to turn cleaning out the dishwasher into a “which stack of non-breakable dishes is tallest?”
You Can Do This Too!
✔ Make parenting more fun.
✔ Empower your children.
✔ Provide more quality time to connect as a family.
✔ Entertain kids when they’re bored and misbehaving.
✔ Calm children when they’re upset and melting down.
✔ Get kids to help around the house with chores.
✔ Teach real-life skills like organizing schoolwork, writing papers, and project planning to meet deadlines.
Like many parents, the mom in this book faces everyday challenges during her kids’ preschool through elementary school years. Her children are impatient, not listening, uncooperative, upset, and even having meltdowns.
When she changes her approach, things quickly improve. Soon her kids willingly listen. Tension turns to quality time. And life becomes more playful.
One of my favorite chapters is “Proud Member of the Clean Plate Club: Eating with Manners.” It’s loosely based on an incident when one night my young son started eating like a pig. Well, he was actually eating more like a puppy dog—licking his plate clean.
I was mortified. Appalled!
Even though I felt like screaming, I knew I needed another technique to teach him proper table manners.
Let’s see how the book’s mom, Carrie, handles this challenge.
Intro to “Proud Member of the Clean Plate Club: Eating with Manners”
I feel like shouting “Justin, stop!” Instead, I cringe silently, watching my four-year-old son lift his tomato-smeared plate, open his mouth, and stick out his tongue.
Surely, he’ll stop.
But he doesn’t. His six-year-old sister, Emily, watches and giggles.
Are you kidding? No way! What should I do?
While I struggle with my internal dialogue, my kids fidget and stare, waiting for my reaction.
Then it hits me.
Want to find out what happens? Click here to read the rest of this chapter. In a few minutes, you’ll gain new insights… and have a few laughs.
Want to Know Another Secret?
Even though this book focuses on toddlers through elementary school-age children, the ideas can apply to any age. I still incorporate these playful tips—and my kids no longer live with me!
- When I need to clean a large stack of dishes, I glance at the clock and guess how long it will take.
- During long drives, I guess how many songs will play on the radio until I arrive at my destination.
- When I get my mail, I treat it like hot lava and quickly deal with each piece so nothing accumulates.
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, caregiver, or someone who works with children, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It will spark your playfulness.
What are you waiting for? Parenting, let’s make a game of it!
Popular posts from my blog:
- 56 Tips for Flying with Kids and Toddlers (Roundup from 40 Experienced Parents)
- How to Be a Fun Mom and Playful Parent—in Less Than a Minute (Like Mary Poppins!)
- The Secret and 46 Tips on How to be a Playful, Positive Parent
- Stress Relief for Kids: Playful Breathing Exercises
- 15 Tips to Raise Confident Kids