Friday, February 3, 2012

Secret to Good Parenting #1: Have Fun!

As a parent of five, I often stress myself out over whether I'm doing a good job with my boys and girl. At times, it feels like my primary job descriptions are "breaker up of fights" and "clean up your room proclaimer," not to mention "lord of get your homework done already."

Yeah, there are times when I feel like a real downer, though I realize the importance of not always giving in to what the boys want. But that's the real problem of being a parent: trying to walk the fine line of teaching values and still being someone the kids love to be around.

Robert Lee Brewer, after taking a pie
in the face at a Cub Scout pack meeting.

So I've tried adding other descriptions to my job as father, such as "taker of pies in the face" and "tickler of ribs." When the situation gets too edgy in the Brewer household, it's time to play a game or take a walk outside. Or it's time to read a book.

After all, it is important to teach values and life lessons, but it's also just as important to build loving memories and traditions that can be passed on to the next generation--as long as that next generation doesn't happen any time soon.

Remember: Goggles make a whip cream
pie in the face much more enjoyable.


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Sasha A. Palmer said...

It's always the best parents who worry about being not good enough. Sounds (and looks) like you are doing a fine job! Thanks for this post.

Brian K said...

I would also like to implement this "taker of pies in the face" in the office. We will be ready next time you are in town. :-)

Loved this.

Tania Dakka said...

Absolutely right! I'm an unfortunate Type A and having fun isn't part of my parenting ideaology...until last week! I killed and buried my Type A and the fun came seeping from my pores! The best part was that we were all more relaxed and had fun which made the rest of it sooo much easier to handle on both sides!

(Copywriting is actually what made me think to kill the "A" - I wasn't "listening to my most important clients...the babies!)

Great post and loooove the pics! Thanks for sharing!

Janet Martin said...

Thank-you Bob. I relate so well to your words...being a mature role model/'order-keeper' yet fun to be around is a constant balancing act...
You sound like a super dad.

Christie Koester said...

You have FIVE kids!??!?!?!??!?!?! WHA??? You must really like it. That's good to know!! I'm scared to have one!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thanks, Happy. I try anyway.

Brian, I'll have to remember to bring my goggles next time I'm up in the office--just in case there's some special staff meeting in a room filled with pies.

Letting go can help relax the situation at times, which makes everyone happier, Tania. Though yeah, sometimes it is tough to "let go."

It is, Janet. And you know, it's so easy to second guess nearly everything you do when you're a parent.

After you get into multiples, Christie, they start adding up fast. But it's fun!

Laura said...

Great advice. I always try to have fun with my 2 kids. I make doing housework fun and I try not to complain about it. It is so important to have fun but at the same time set limits. It is so sad that so many parent's view raising kids as a competition and take they take everything so seriously. I may not take my kids on lavish vacations but we do day trips. I know my children will have happy memories of the day trips we take. You sound like a great father. Thank you for the post.

Renee LaTulippe said...

I'm so glad I subscribed to your blog the other day - you have such great spirit and style. I was lucky to grow up with very playful parents always up for a wheelbarrow race or a pie in the face. And then I married a playful man, so our almost-2yo twin boys have plenty of play going on. I worry about lots of other stuff, though! :) Thanks for this enjoyable post that brought back good memories. said...

So true Bob. I used to be a terrible worrier, I've lightened up a lot. Having a puppy in the house helps. Love the pie face.

Heather Marsten said...

LOL - if you are looking for new ideas, my Cub Scout co leader, for a fund raiser had boys throw tomatoes at him - hint use ripe ones and put a knife slit in the skin so they smash easier. Goggles helped him too. Older boys had to stand further back.

You are right, have fun with your children - they are young such a short time. Mine are college age or beyond.

Hannah said...

This is all such great advice, Robert!! Thank you so much! As the "heavy," in my house I feel much of the way you describe and your tips for fun and chaning up the atmostphere are excellent! Smiles to you and the family!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

I think it is all about building those memories, Laura. Hopefully more happy than sad.

Renee, I'm glad you're enjoying your subscription. Life is a lot more fun when its playful.

I'm still a Class A worrier, Catherine, when it comes to my kids. I look back at what I did as a boy and think I would've had a heart attack if I was my own parent.

Tomato toss fundraiser? That sounds very promising, Heather. And thanks for the tips.

Smiles to you, Hannah!

Kelly @ Ahimsa Mama said...

So true - and so hard! It's hard to remember to have fun when there are so many "important" and "pressing" responsibilities. I do make an effort to do what you suggest...but I'm not sure I'd take a pie in the face, goggles or no goggles!