‘F’ wrote to me to say that her little boy was spitting and pulling her hair.
So, Giggle Parenting, is all about allowing children to release their feelings, through play, fun, and connection with us, so they don’t need to tell us how they are feeling through their behaviour. It also depends on us, being able to give our child the warm connection, they need to thrive.
Being spat at or having your hair pulled is not fun! There are times when we can’t be playful, and need to be able to set a limit, holding our child’s hand, and telling them, ”I can’t let you pull my hair.”
When children get aggressive it can be helpful to channel their feelings in playful ways, so that we can be warm and connected about it. So for example instead of letting your child pull your hair, you might want to redirect them to a pile of soft pillows, and say, ”I hope you don’t throw those pillows at me!” And then invite them to play.
Here’s a list of 20 playful ways to channel aggression so that your child can release feelings through laughter.
Here is a story about one mum who took a rather radical approach to spitting. Every time her son spat at her she would kiss his lips.
This is giggle parenting to the extreme, and if you find the idea completely repulsive, you might not want to dive into this straight away, and start with other less icky games. Maybe you could put a towel over your head and tell your son that you are hiding from the spitting. Then he could pull it off you, and try to spit at you, and you can try to escape.
This doesn’t mean that you are encouraging the behaviour. Your child might want to play and laugh around aggression or spitting for a long time. But this play helps to reduce the likelihood of this behaviour recurring because they’ve got the feelings out of their system.
Giving our children to a safe space to play around their deepest feelings, means that when they go out into the world they are less likely to be aggressive, or try to spit friends or other adults. They don’t go out into the world desperate to be heard, lashing out at anyone. They know that they can have their feelings heard at home, in a safe, gentle and playful way.
Deep down, our children already have a deep, sense of what is right and ‘wrong.’ They don’t want to spit, or hurt us, it’s just sometimes their feelings get in the way of their thinking, and they need a listener. We can be that listener, and when we do so on a regular basis, parenting challenges will gradually melt away.
Would you like a giggle parenting solution for your family challenge? Leave me a comment or sendme a pm via facebook
If you’d like an in-depth look at how laughter can solve behavioural challenges, then check out Playful Parenting by Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen.