Have you sunk so deep into the day to day crunch of life, you’ve forgotten how to make things fun? Author Donna Bozzo answers every parent’s question, What can I do to make my family happy in her book, What The Fun?! 427 Ways To Find Simple Fantastic Family Fun.
Creating more fun in your days will make you a joy to be around AND you’ll be a great example to your children— teaching them to find their own happiness in life. What more could you want for your kids?
Putting more fun into your days will not only make your children happy – it’ll make your great grandchildren happy as well. After 25 years of studies, German scientists found that when parents become happier (or unhappier) so do their children and that the link between happy parents and happy children can stretch for generations to come. Why is this? It’s because we organically pass our values and behaviors onto our kids. If you make fun a priority in your life, so will your children. Scientists have found a lifelong happiness dividend (or unhappiness dividend) long after children have left home. And, it has immediate benefits too. Both a Sesame Workshop study and a large study by the American Psychological Association found that when children feel their parents enjoy them and play with them— it helps them build a resilient brain architecture. Resilient children cope better with stress and change. A playful attitude helps us all weather the storms of life better. This is so important you’ll find in the teen years. Depression in teens is on the swift rise and it’s attributed to a lack of play in childhood.
Science also shows us infusing your life with more fun makes you not only happier – it makes you healthier and helps you live longer. One of the biggest studies on happiness tracked the lives of 180 Notre Dame nuns for five decades and found the happier nuns – or ones described as focusing on joy – lived ten years longer.
So how do we do it?
The key is to make it peasy, peasy turn-around easy.
The biggest mistake people make is they make fun so hard. And they hoard it for special occasions. Instead look for little sips of fun in every day. That may mean the family rollerblades to camp and work one morning. Or, everyone gets up 15 minutes earlier and you have breakfast on the beach. Doesn’t have to be fancy – bagels and bananas will do. Avoid the long dreaded carpool by downloading songs with the kids names in it. Put funny (simple) disguises out on the dinner table tonight. Or have dinner under the dining room table. Pitch a tent in the backyard and sleep under the stars tonight with the little ones or go to the mattresses as I used to call it, and drag the kids mattresses in the front room and cook out in the fireplace – hot dogs and marshmallows will do – and sleep “out” in the front room.
Or look for fast fun! I love minute to win its – little games you can play in under a minute proving you don’t need a ton of time to add a bit of fun to boring times.
(I will bring pennies and apples. We can play a quick game where the first person who stacks 5 apples on top of each other wins. And the first person to stack 25 pennies wins)
See it doesn’t have to be hard or take a ton of time. Learn how to simplify fun and you’ll find you’ll be having a lot more of it!
For more great ideas on how to infuse your family’s life with more fun— for Donna’s book, What The Fun?! 427 Simple Ways To Have Fantastic Family Fun.