If there’s one thing I can’t deny about my four-year-old Dylan, it’s that she likes to have fun. But, not your typical day to day type fun folks. She’s the kid that asks what we’re doing and where we’re going every five minutes just to make sure that every nanosecond of the day, fun is present.
Despite the fact that she has more toys than furniture in her room, going home is still absolutely dreadful in her little four-year-old mind. Because, well, it’s just not fun enough.
Maybe that’s true for your kid too. Maybe your little one is a fun-time-having enthusiast as well. Or, maybe your kid would rather curl up in a corner by themselves and read a good old book upside down. Whichever way your child leans, what I know to be true is that as parents, we all have to have a healthy balance of fun in our homes. No matter what type of kid you have, both types of kids, all kids, need both fun AND order in the home.
66such a beautiful way. She talks about this idea of pursuing the balance needed to stay in the middle of whichever “ends” of it you’re trying to pursue. And in this case, while fun is absolutely needed in the home, we are to pursue order and discipline as well. Julie says “We are to manage the tension between ENJOYING this day and EQUIPPING for one day.”
And isn’t that a perfect description of what the balance of fun and order look like? We all want to enjoy our kids, right? But, in the same breath, we know that we also have to be consistent with order so that we can one day stare into the eyes of our kind, responsible, loving adults.
So, how do you do that? How do you ensure that you’re balancing the right amount of fun and order into your home?
I’m so glad you asked!
Because of my childhood and how strict my father was, I am absolutely the parent that leans towards order and discipline in my home. I have the hardest time maintaining fun with my four-year-old, especially because she’s a fun maniac. I’m always questioning if she’s getting the right amount of order that will help her become a kind, responsible and loving adult. I get so afraid that she’s wanting so much fun, it’ll take away from the principles she should be learning.
Well, here are some things that I do to help stay in a healthy balance of both:
1. Being intentional about keeping fun games visible in our home.
Matching cards, puzzles and board games. I leave them right there on the counter and family tables so that if my little sees it, she’s bound to ask and I’m sure to remember that it may be time for a game.
2. Creating family tradition days
Friday’s are movie nights. Saturday’s always include some type of outdoor activity, if weather permits. And, I refer to the Parent Cue App daily for the fun activities that go along with bible stories and verses.
3. Building a behavior chart
Or as we like to call it “Dylan’s Good Girl Chart” (see what we did there). This helps infuse both order (it outlines the things that we want her to work on) and fun (the rewards for great behavior are all quality time fun-based).
4. Trying my best to stay in tune with my little
I know Dylan loves to have loads of fun, so I try to really focus on how she’s feeling in the moment. I can tell when she’s just on a fun marathon and has had enough fun and when I’ve given her so much energy towards order and discipline that she needs a break for some fun.
You know your child better than anyone else. So, use your instinct. Use your experience to pick up on the cues he or she gives you. And, remember this; there will be seasons of unbalance. There will be times where more order and discipline are needed to really equip your future adult and so you’ll have to give a whole bunch of that. Then there will be those incredible seasons that we all wait for, where we get to just simply enjoy our littles, play in the sand, create pretend worlds, and laugh until we snort.
No matter what season you’re in, know this; your kind, responsible and loving future adult needs nothing else but you. Keep parenting guys, we got this.
For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.