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'Grump-Pants' parenting


Yep, being a grumpy parent is a thing and something that comes when we, as parents, get sucked into all the expectations of what we ‘should’ be doing and forget what really matters in a relationship. 

 

Yet, what kind of message are we sending? Life is serious, we are bad, and we are clearly bad more often than we are good and have to pay for our 'badness' with seriousness. There doesn't seem to be much to feel fantastic about, and therefore, behaviour can follow suit.  

 

It makes sense that there is less inclination or space to connect, work, or play when day-to-day living is intense and pressured. But that way of living can become our normal until something happens, perhaps an accident or illness, which forces us to reassess our priorities and value what and who truly matters. So, why wait?  

 

'Grump-pants' parenting tells us there is very clearly a key element of life missing – play-full-ness 

 

Just to clarify, this is not about ignoring or excusing inappropriate behaviour, but about checking that what you are picking up is genuinely in need of a pull-up rather than just being so irritated the whole time by another person’s behaviour that it extends to just being in their company. 

 

It starts with one person recognising that this is not what they want from their relationship, and rather than point the finger at another, perhaps it is lovingly saying, “hey I can be the change I was to see in my life, I am the adult, I can take the lead on this one”.


‘Grump-pants’ behaviour is not natural to us, just as you will have seen it is not natural to your child. It is a form of communication, albeit an unattractive and less than successful one.  

 

Our goal is to observe what is playing out, what is trying to trigger the reaction, and give it nothing, rather, diverting behaviour before it starts. If we can model that for our children, then they learn a life skill to be used in their own home, workplace and all relationships. 

 

If we need a role model for being more playful in life, babies and young children are often a good place to start. They have a natural, in-built fun-ometer that needs to be nurtured – particularly in this current world where there is so much exposure to the horrors of human behaviour in the media. Childhood anxiety is another area altogether, but if we were able to allow ourselves to be silly and playful occasionally, perhaps there would be less worry about the future of our children.  

 

So, perhaps it is an opportunity for our children to take the parenting lead ...  


This isn’t about faking it till you make it - remember, children have a radar for lack of integrity - it is about genuinely finding playful moments in and amongst the ‘seriousness’ of life. What then comes to the surface is how many unnecessary intense moments there are in our day-to-day that end up with ‘grump-pants' parenting being our normal.


We know deep down that this is not who we are, so let's take our foot off the pedal and just breathe for a moment. You, and your relationships are worth it.


Image by Michaela from Pixabay with Canva edits

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