Parenting is not a joke. But it should be fun.

We know that if you find a job you love, you will for the most part enjoy doing your job. Going to work will not be a chore. The work will be experienced as a challenge, the failures a motivator and the successes joy.

April Fool’s Day is a day for jokes and fun. Did you give it a try this year? Did you manage to pull something off on someone at home or at work?  If not, will you give it a try next year?

When I was thinking about April First and some of the fun times I’ve had over the years with jokes that actually worked I decided to send out this note. A good laugh with another person is beneficial to your health, great for the relationship and for the rest of the day you will find yourself smiling at folks, and they will smile at you. At the end of the day as you drift off to sleep, you will think this was a good day.

So what does this have to do with workplace wellness?  If you have been reading my articles you know why parenting skills training in the workplace brings value to the employer and employee to say nothing of our children who are the next generation of workers and parents.

But there is another component we don’t often talk about.  Parenting should be a job we love one that brings us joy and it should be fun. Make sure any program, speaker or event you plan for parents isn’t all doom and gloom, but is also about the great times, which should vastly outnumber the difficult.

Of course, the more parents know their job, the easier it becomes and the more time there is for just plain fun.  It’s the same at work.  When you know what you’re doing it’s simply easier!

It’s easy for parents to get much too serious about this task of raising kids.  Yes it’s serious, it’s important but it can also be fun and parents need to learn that there are times when you should simply relax and play.

For example in our family we enjoy family dinners.  No TV, just sitting together around the table learning appropriate table manners as well as how to carry on a conversation in a group. But that can be fun and relaxing or an exercise in terror.  It’s all about attitude. One time at the end of a meal one of my kids put his serviette on his head to indicate he was done.  We responded as any caring and responsible parents would and put our serviettes on our heads when we were finished. Then we all burst out laughing.  Bad manners? Sure. But funny? You bet.

Carrying on the meal theme, while we had a strict rule about the TV being turned off while we ate, we also had an exception to the rule. If we had pizza, we could gather around the set and watch a program.

Of course it wasn’t always this easy or certainly perfect. But, the point is maintaining a balance and knowing there’s a time to adjust the rules and just have fun. When you have a handle on the job of parenting and the kids know the rules and expectations, you can make exceptions. They will understand this is an exception and enjoy the fun.

You want any parenting programs in your workplace to acknowledge the fun and joy of raising kids, not just the challenges.

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