Parenting With Psychology

Helping you build a set of parenting tools so you feel like an amazing parent ready to overcome your daily challenges.

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How To Make Your Parenting More Fun | Fun With Kids

ages 5 years - 11 years ages 6 months - 5 years check yourself humor problem solving routines Apr 27, 2023
How can I make daily routines more fun for my kids


The key to interacting with preschoolers is keeping things light and fun.  I credit my munchkins’ preschool teacher with bestowing on us the powerful tool of Mr. Handy: Make a fist with your hand with the thumb knuckle forward and use your thumb to control the mouth or keep your fingers spread and wiggle them like hair – either way, your kids will get a kick out of Mr. Handy.  The beauty of this tool is that it can act as your special helper somewhere your kids need a bit more encouragement.


A few years back, I found that getting the kids ready in the morning had become a frustrating experience.  I called people into the bathroom with poor response time; they weren’t excited about brushing their teeth, etc.  Mr. Handy to the Rescue!  The great thing about having Mr. Handy help is that he does all the talking. So when I made that fist and timed my thumb movements with a little ventriloquist act to say in a silly voice, “Hey kids, it’s time to head to the bathroom to get ready,” they laughed and followed along.  Instead of Mom nagging them, it becomes fun to get daily tasks done!


Here’s another fun use for Mr. Handy: The kids and I got together and decided there were five things we needed to accomplish every morning: get dressed, make our beds, brush our hair, brush our teeth, and put on sunscreen.  Five is the magic number, so you have one finger for each activity.  If your list has more than five items, you can merge tasks like brushing hair & teeth.  Mr. Handy can ask the kids if they have completed their five morning tasks using his fun voice.  This may prompt them to run off and do one they had forgotten.  Or perhaps they’ll respond that they have done all five.  Then Mr. Handy can confirm this by counting off the five activities one finger at a time.  If you start with a closed fist and they’ve done all five tasks, you’ll end with an open palm, ready for a high five.  If they need to run off to complete another activity, have that high five ready when they return for positive reinforcement to increase the likelihood of them doing that task again tomorrow (see Understanding Reinforcement vs. Punishment).


This tool is an example from the Check Yourself module of my parenting program (see The 5 C’s to Amazing Parenting).  A sprinkle of humor goes a long way to keep your daily behaviors aligned with your parenting philosophy and intentions.  Try out Mr. Handy wherever you’re finding challenges in your daily routine - with good table manners, homework, remembering things to bring out the door on the way to school, etc.  Keep up the good work on your amazing parenting journey!


P.S. – Another thing that we’ve found very helpful with young children in the morning is to keep sunscreen and an extra toothbrush for each kid in the kitchen so we can maintain the momentum going after breakfast and finish getting ready rather than dragging everyone back to the bathroom.



If you like the idea of getting intentional about your parenting, you might be interested in learning more about my 5 C’s parenting framework and continuing your amazing parenting journey with my free Bootcamps.  Find a Bootcamp specific to your child’s age and save your spot today.


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Amazing parenting is not about always saying
and doing the right thing and raising perfect children.  It’s about becoming intentional in your parenting and proactive in learning skills to help you parent more effectively in a way that fits best for your unique parent-child dynamics.

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