Parenting Humor Helps Avoid Power Struggles
The basis of parenting humor is that you neither take
yourself nor your child too seriously. In this regard,
I am referring to the fact that we all have an expectation
map in our brains that tells us how we should behave and how
our child should behave in certain situations. These are
called behavioral expectations.
Unfortunately, life seems to relish diverting us from our
intended ideal plan, which can prove frustrating. Instead
of flying off the handle, or just getting frustrated when
your child misbehaves, what I am suggesting is that you
learn to see the humor unfolding in life’s drama before
you. This is what parenting humor is all about. It can
maintain a positive parenting style and is one of the many
positive parenting tips at this website.
Regarding positive parenting tips, one divorced dad told a
story about his twelve year old daughter, Terry (not real
name), who spent summers with him. Shortly after Terry
arrived one summer, his former wife called and asked that he
take Terry to Target to buy her some underwear because Terry
was going through a phase where she refused to accompany her
Dad agreed to Mom's request and pulled up in front of Target
one day with Terry in the car. The following conversation
"Why are we stopping at Target, Dad?" Terry demanded
"Your mother told me you needed underwear."
"I'm not going in that store!" Terry snapped.
Dad, feeling his temper rising, was about to tell Terry she
was going in the store, whether she liked it or not, when it
struck him that he was about to be trapped in a power
struggle-something he wanted no part of.
Instead of taking the situation seriously, he stepped
outside of it and looked at it as if he were watching one
if his favorite TV comedies. This got him in a parenting humor
mood. To his surprise, he took a different approach to
the confrontation with his daughter. Instead of feeling
angry and frustrated, he felt playful and a little
He turned to Terry and said, "Okay Terry, you stay here. I
will buy your underwear for you. Of course, I don't know
what size you wear, and even if I did, since your growing so
fast, it's probably smarter to buy panties that are two or
three sizes bigger than you need right now, so you can grow
into them over the next few years."
One function of parenting humor is to distract your child
from the power struggle to something else. Indeed, dad's
tact did just that.
First, Terry stared at her dad in disbelief. Her ears felt
assaulted by his words. Then her mouth dropped in shock.
Finally, she interrupted, "Don't you dare leave this car
without me, dad. I'll show you the panties I wear."
Positive parenting tips, like this, can prove very effective once
parents become attuned to utilizing them. Dad's first
attempt using the parenting humor approach worked
like a charm. He turned a potential power struggle into a
Parenting humor requires a little time to implement.
One needs to evaluate a potential confrontation in order to
avoid it. To do this, ask yourself, if the situation is
really as bad as you think it is, or is this one of life’s
normal challenges, something that you won’t recall in a week.
Ask yourself is the situation a result of my child behaving
so outrageously, or is it that I have had a bad day? Put
your child’s behavior in the proper perspective and try to
see the humor in the situation. By not taking personally
what your child does that is offensive, you will be able to
see the situation more objectively, which will, not only make
you a better parent, but allow you to go easier on yourself
and your child.
You can create your own positive parenting tips, when you
are able to disconnect yourself from power struggles.
Regarding parenting humor, I’m not implying that you not
carry out your parental responsibilities as you see fit,
but that you don't take them too seriously, which parents
are apt to do; after all, for most adults their kids are the
most important thing in the world. Sometimes, like your
child, you are just going to blow it. Humor, unlike
perfection, has a big place, not only in child rearing, but
in our daily lives for it helps us break free from that
rigid, straight and narrow track we humans frequently find
Focusing on positive a positive parenting style can lead to
creative solutions to behavioral problems.
Parenting humor can mean better control of your
emotions when confronting your child. Instead of letting
your anger get the best of you, use your anger before it
reaches the tilt zone. This is anger with a little humor
because you're letting your child know you are angry, but
you're not quite as angry as you let her think. This gets
the point across that mom or dad has had enough, but lets
you remain in control of your temper and maybe even enjoy a
little parenting humor.
Through parenting humor, you may even learn to be
playful. Although expectations and logical consequences work
best when they are consistent, surprise your children every
now and then with the unexpected. Don’t be completely
predictable. Whatever your playful experiment, make it
something that appeals to you or that you find intriguing or
funny. It’s okay to plan a surprise ahead of time. Put a
little thought into it.
Summarizing parenting humor, the following recommendations
Besides parenting humor, learn about playful parenting by
- Don't take parenting personally. Take neither yourself
nor your child too seriously. An effective parent remains
- Take a time out, think humorously, and convert that
potential power struggle into a mini-comedy.
- Remaining cool and thinking humorously allows parents
to disconnect from the confrontation and focus on the
problem, instead of the emotion. This approach can lead to
a creative solution to the problem.
- Perfection applies to machines. Humor is creativity in
action, a good lesson for your child.
- Show your anger before you reach the tilt zone and are
still in control.
- Play with your parenting role. Don't be too predictable.
You can consistently enforce the rules and still utilize