30 Second Smile

The other night we were having a difficult dinner hour.  In our house, this consists of whining, shouting, tapping of spoons on plates, food waste, and pretty much any other shenanigans the children can get up to while seated for dinner!  Rob was inspired by our recent discussions related to my blog post on posing to try and help the kids out of their ‘funk’ by playing a game called ‘The 10 Second Smile.’  Little did they know that he was subversively leading them out of their discontent…

They participated in the game willingly.  Calling something a ‘game’ usually helps to increase the appeal of participation around here.  In any case, we all held our smiles while Rob counted to 10.  Then the rowdiness resumed.  After a few more loud minutes, Rob suggested we play ’30 Second Smile’ instead.  They again participated willingly, perhaps because the ‘game’ was creating a safe space for them to be silly.  After the second round, the children were more calm and generally happy.  Rob’s ‘game’ bought us about 20-25 minutes of time where the children were responsive and engaged, just enough time to get through dinner.

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