Today we were playing shops for special time. We took turns being the shopkeeper and shopper. We had some barcodes and prices on pieces of paper. When it was my turn to be the shopkeeper I started making lots of mistakes. I scanned the toy bananas instead of the barcode. Then I typed in the barcode number instead of the price. When my daughter gave me some coins I tried to swipe them through the card machine.
Each time I made a mistake my daughter would correct me. I would say sorry that it was my first day being a shopkeeper and I didn’t really know what I was doing. She laughed and laughed. She found it hilarious when I pretended to be the automated voice of the till saying ”beep, beep, beep, this is the wrong price for bananas,” over and over again.
I could see that this play was building her confidence, she got to correct me, explaining the right numbers to type in or the right thing to scan. As children who are relatively new to the world and learning how it works all the time, this kind of play is a welcome relief from all the times when they feel confused and wondering what is going on.
Giggle parenting can sometimes be a handy tool to use when we need to get our children to do something, and it can also be simply for pure fun and laughter. As we laughed together, I actually started enjoying playing shops!
Giggle parenting is about making an investment in connecting with our children. So when we need to leave the house to get out to the real shops our children are more likely to co-operate with us. As we say with Hand in Hand parenting, connection breeds co-operation.
So try some special time with your child, and let them pick what they want to do. See if you can bring some laughter into the play, with yourself in the less powerful role.