Why I Asked My 5 Year Old to Drive My Van....Mar 14, 2023
The conversation went something like this...
Lincoln (my 5 year old) upon waking up in the morning: I don't want to go to school.
Me (in a rather playful and exaggerated tone): Me either. I don't want to go to work! No, really I could go to kindergarten, and you could go to my work (Lincoln's interest is piqued).
Lincoln: I don't wanna go to schoooooooolllll.
Me: Okay bud, seriously, just think about it. I actually went to kindergarten when I was 5, and I really killed it. I think I could handle taking your place. Would you feel comfortable driving my van to work, if we really did trade places?
Lincoln feeling surprised and confused with a slight grin on his face: Mom, what?
Me: If you could just walk me through how to do centers, where to stand in line, and your schedule; I think we could it. Once you get to my work, Mrs. Lorraine can unlock my door and whoever comes in, just listen well to what they have to say.
Lincoln: I'll just go to school.
Total parenting win! And good news, Lincoln did not have to drive my van!! Here's the deal, I love my job and Lincoln actually likes many aspects of school. We were both tired after a long weekend and neither of us were ready to get going. Ya feel me?! Often times when we get push back, our natural response is to push right back. Well... this doesn't always work with kids or other adults. It generally incites the fight or flight response which is counterproductive to compliance. Playfulness, on the other hand, disarms the fight or flight response giving us the ability to connect with the other person and connect to the problem-solving, rational part of our brain.
Try using play in some way. If you're use to being serious, this is going to push you out of your comfort zone. Play is good for all ages not just kids. Think creatively how you might incorporate play into your life, and how you might use it to disarm a situation.
Whether it be a silly conversation, tickle fight, game, joke, or whatever else you come up with, have fun implementing play in your life. Here's what I know, every relationship has room for play!