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How to make parenting fun

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Don't forget to laugh

Are you a fun parent? Even when -- or maybe especially when -- one feels uncertainty in the wider world, recognizing the good in our lives and making a point to enjoy it are important. Laughing with and enjoying our kids takes a lot less effort than just about anything. And laughing doesn't cost a thing.

Don't forget to laugh

We all know parenting is serious business -- and hard work. There's always something new to consider or a decision to be made for these amazing creatures who arrived without instruction manuals. Sometimes, things seem to flow along quite well, and sometimes it feels a little harder. Days can be long and exhausting. But you know what? Parenting can also be lots of fun. Don't forget to enjoy it a little. Wait, scratch that: Enjoy it a lot. Don't forget to laugh.

Changing moods, making memories

Being willing to laugh a little is a great way to lighten a mood or just pass the time. Sitting in the school pickup line waiting for an older child is a perfect time to laugh with younger children. Snack time, just after dinner, just before school -- anytime can be a good time.Invariably at bedtime, when I ask my ritual question about their favorite part of the day, my kids will mention this playtime, this laughing time, however brief. If a day has been tough otherwise for whatever reason, that the kids are holding on to the happy memories is totally gratifying for me -- and something of a relief. I want them to have good memories; I want them to be able to laugh with their own kids someday.

Make a face, play tag, tickle

There are so many ways to have a giggle with the kids. Sing a silly song, tickle toes or blow bubbles. Tell jokes, dance or play tag in the yard. Do something to make a moment just plain fun.One of the easiest ways to make my kids laugh (and turn around a day) is to make a face. Seriously. When they least expect it, I stick out my tongue, then play innocent. Who, me? Within a few minutes, we are all laughing, making faces and generally having a good time.Soon enough, you'll develop your own silly rituals that you can turn to anytime, anywhere and have a laugh with your kids. Truly, parenting can be fun.

Tell us: How do you make parenting fun? Comment below!

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