Tuesday, May 7, 2019

6 Things NOT to Do While Your Kids Are Playing Nicely

What's that? You say your kids are playing together nicely? They aren't fighting, they aren't tattling, they aren't getting into trouble? They're giggling and laughing and actually behaving themselves?

That's great!!!

This is wonderful and exciting; cherish these moments! But, don't get too comfortable, because it probably won't last. You might think, "Well, while they're playing so nicely, I'll be able to______." No, no you won't. Because if you try to take advantage of the fact that the kids are playing nicely, they will immediately stop what they are doing and demand all of your attention. It's just what kids do.

Here are a few things NOT to do while your kids are playing nicely:

1. Don't check on them. If the kids are playing nicely in another room, let them be. The moment they see you it will throw them off, and the fun they were having will come to a quick end. It's better to let them just keep going on their own--your parental presence will put a damper on their fun.

2. Don't try to watch them play. Most people (even kids) can sense when someone is watching them. Call it natural paranoia. And when they know you're watching, it'll throw them a little off-kilter and the fun will end. (And whatever you do, DON'T try to take a picture of them playing nicely together! Nothing will stop them faster.)

Nothing bad could POSSIBLY happen when two kids are using baseball bats as swords, right?

3. Don't try to go to the bathroom. As soon as you go to the bathroom, the kids will stop playing nicely. Why? Kids are contractually obligated to bother you while you go to the bathroom, even if it means they have to stop having fun to do so.

4. Don't try to talk to another adult on the phone. You should know by now that you can't have a coherent conversation with another adult on the telephone while your children are between the ages of three weeks and 16 years old. Every time you get on the phone either a kid will interrupt you, or you'll have to correct them by yelling out something like, "Get your brother's shirt out of your mouth!" while in the middle of your phone conversation. (This is why you no longer have friends.)

5. Don't try to get anything done. If you try to do anything productive (do the dishes, write a novel, take a nap) while the kids are playing, they will sense this and drop what they are doing so they can prevent you from accomplishing your goal.

6. Don't let them continue unsupervised. Unsupervised kids get into things they're not supposed to. That's just a fact. No matter how much "fun" it sounds like they're having, you must check on them, or they might "quietly" do things they shouldn't, like climb to the top of the dresser and jump off of it, or pour all of the shampoo onto the bathroom floor. Leaving a kid unsupervised is just asking for trouble.

(You may have noticed that item #1 and item #6 completely contradict each other. They tell you exact opposite things to do in order to keep your kids safe and happy. Guess what, you're right. Welcome to parenting!) (And good luck to you. You're going to need it.)

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