The preschooler got on all fours and was communicating as a dog. I got on all of my fours and communicated right back. The canine conversation lasted a couple moments until she jumped up and flailed her hands saying the wind was making her dance like the wind. I followed suit. No music was necessary. A simple thrill of silliness connected us solidly. Soon we entered into learning about feelings and what colors represented them. She expanded into dancing the colors with the feelings, as did I. What a perfect learning path the silly gestures provided us! We both felt our SUPERKID Power!
Some say “being silly is true happiness together.” There is a creative freedom and joy in being silly. When shared, it is an elevated state of connecting unlike any other.
“Parents should embrace silliness, and be a part of it. Silliness can have positive ramifications for kids in several crucial areas.” (Parent.com) A freedom that is shared 'out-of-the-box' becomes a bonding in a relationship that lays a foundation for creating spontaneously from a pure place of expression and discovery. It becomes a joyful creative flow. Weaving that into a family system or an educational system can reap many benefits. We might consider: “The system that is silly together.....grows together.” After all, a fun, playful, happy state opens children and adults. Learning can enter and be welcomed at that point.
When my children were young, I encouraged silliness and engaged in it myself. Keeping that 'muscle' strong into my aging process, it allows for new fun experiences with my grandchildren. My son is apt to be silly with me when he visits since we have a strong foundation in silliness. For example, when he leaves, I transform sad to glad by doing something funny with him as though I am trying to keep him from leaving. It brings much laughter and many 'likes' on Facebook since people love to laugh and see our silliness. What a gift that keeps on giving from the foundation in childhood!
Silliness brings feelings of safety and comfort with others. It relieves built up tension and stress, resulting in a more relaxed, calm feeling in body and oxygenates mental activity that becomes clearer and can enhance the learning state. Parents and teachers are primarily concerned with disciplining children so silliness never enters their thoughts. However, because silliness can help children cope with stress as a tension release, a dose of it regularly can actually set the stage for easier behaviors and less need for disciplining. Built up tension blocks learning, cooperative behavior and good feelings.
A feeling of security paves way for a feeling of acceptance. Meeting each other on silliness common grounds can provide solidity for trust and cooperation in many instances. When children feel confident, it is easier to attain goals. Life becomes very serious and filled with responsibilities where it is easy to forget the freedom and release of playful fun and being silly. Helping children to know that even though life is serious, being playful and silly can be part of one's life path.
A key ingredient in this silly formula is that when silliness is shared in a system, be it family or classroom, it builds a rapport that often leads to easier times in other activities, be it chores, learning a subject, performing a task or cooperating in a game. Silliness serves everyone! And it is a portal to pure creativity! Children love to pretend. We often forget that quality in being 'responsible' adults. My book, “Jackson's Fun Adventures” (Amazon) encourages children to playfully imagine many different experiences. Let's not forget that option in our adulthood.
In times of chaos and stress in our environments, experiences such as spontaneity, creativity, playfulness, laughter and silly times provide stress relief. Try out a dose of the sillies if you dare to have more fun in life and with children! Young ones are not self conscious being silly, so just follow their lead! Being silly really is worth its weight in gold!
www.grandmaboom.com for listing of Janai's books
www.superkidpower.org for FREE fun video for children and other resources