Why parenting in non-fun ways is important for kids

This is the case with a mother I know who describes herself as “not fun.”

“Children know parents who keep their world spinning [is crucial]says Stephanie Tan-Christant, a clinical psychologist in

“I just roll my eyes,” she says of her daily life with three daughters, two of whom are now in college. (One is in high school.) Her husband is the one who grabs the kids for a last-minute game of UNO before they leave the house in the morning, but she was always the one to pull the uniforms out of the dryer. Pack your lunch and remember to buy chicken for dinner.

“I’m too focused on trying to remember everything they remember. [her kids] A friend of mine who works for an aid organization said of her husband: She said, “He was like, ‘No, I don’t want to be on the school email list.'”

But while he’s a “fun parent” and appreciates that the kids can play with him, it’s she that kids often come to for emotional support when the chips drop.

“I just got this card the other day. [from one of her daughters]I am always there and she can always count on me. I will always support you. I am a great role model. ”

“He gets credit for it [being the fun parent], and I want to be like, “I like Oreos too!” I have fun too! ‘” actor Jennifer Garner was quoted as

And does her husband, who has the patience to play Monopoly, find her “long, boring and silly”?

Sometimes he has to force his children to do activities that look very nice from the outside.

“He went out and bought a Meccano set and talked to the kids about it. ‘When I was your age, I used to play with this alone,'” says the friend. “He made it clear, almost without coercion, just kept saying [to their youngest daughter]: “I think you’ll like it. Let’s do it together.” And he says: “Look, you love it! You love it!'”

But isn’t it important for parents to play with their children? course, is.Expert report When children play with their parents, it makes them stronger. hook up children cope with stress, emotions.


“It strengthens the relationship between the child and the parent or caregiver, helps build that level of creativity, and also helps you see yourself as a relaxed, healthy parent,” Tan-Christant says.

But maybe we need to broaden our thinking about what “fun” parenting is.

A single mother of two teenage children, Vashti Whitfield isn’t the typical “fun” parent spoiled on Instagram. She hasn’t had the luxury since her husband, an actor. Andy Whitfield – Best known for playing lead roles in television series Spartacus – Ten years ago, my children died of cancer when they were 7 and 3.5 years old.

“I see other people going camping and doing really fun things on the weekends. The idea is to pack up the car and do that. [alone] …” says life coach Whitfield. “When you see your children watching what other families are doing, it seems less fun because it lacks the elements and ingredients that create that fun. It doesn’t always provide as much enjoyment as you think you do.”


But her demeanor definitely makes life just as fun, if not more fun, than a so-called fun family.

“So most people would describe our situation as ‘Oh my god, it’s so sad’ or something like that,” says Whitfield. But she and her 14-year-old and her 17-year-old have a passion for elaborate celebrations like “crazy Easter egg hunts,” along with a “wicked, silly, mischievous sense of humor.” ” is shared.

They openly discuss whatever their children want, from the most ridiculous issues to the most serious ones like the loss of a father. Sometimes their conversations lead them to “laugh hysterically,” like when an 8-year-old hesitates to eat sunflower seeds. Dad’s seed”.

“So we have this duality of conversations about healthy eating, sex education, and this lovely, fun, silly conversation about fathers who aren’t there anymore but are woven in the same breath.

“we [also] Make jokes around the house, “Will you play the widow card or the single parent card?” [to get out of unwanted meetings or activities like picking up other kids from games]”The joke across the table is, ‘Mom, we only have a limited amount of time to play the widow’s card before everyone goes, so she just won’t show up.'”

And for parents who struggle to play with their children, perhaps single parents or parents with little time to spare, Tan-Kristanto offers some peace of mind. What matters is quality time with your child.

“And it’s okay if the kids get bored,” she adds. “Boredom is a very important aspect that children experience. That’s where they build their sense of creativity.”

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Why parenting in non-fun ways is important for kids

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