Can there be two “fun parents” in one house?

Written by JJ Campbell
Published on April 14, 2023

In a typical household, one parent is often more serious, organized, and a stickler for rules and routines, while the other is more loose and fun, a.k.a. the “fun parent.” 

On social media, I’ve seen memes joking about how one parent is hosting “wrestlemania” in the living room, while the other parent is stressed out about. . . something. . . anything, you name it. 

I’ve even had conversations with friends where they tell me they don’t feel like they could be the “fun parent” because they don’t want to get messy or don’t want to engage in a pillow fight every night.  

I think we’ve been going about this “fun parent” label all wrong. 

I think being a fun parent is more mental than physical—more about the mindset you operate instead of the wild antics in the living room. 

It all comes down to the way you see yourself and being in tune with what brings you joy as an individual. 

We are all capable of having fun; we just make it too complicated sometimes. The literal definition of fun is: “enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure.”

So, “fun” isn’t what you do, but the hopeful optimism in  approaching everyday life with the curious question, “How can we enjoy our time today?”

That shift in how you approach your time can make all the difference. It can make you a fun parent because you’ve removed the pressure of having to do something big, loud, and extravagant in the name of fun. 

And I’m challenging you to this because I feel there are a lot of families missing the fun element these days. 

The next time you’re with your kids and want to have more fun together, think about these three questions: 

1. Is there anything blocking me from having lighthearted fun today?

Maybe you’re feeling stressed about money, a work project, or there’s a big decision  looming over your head. Take a minute to ask God to help you stop worrying and start enjoying the here and now. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

2. Is there something I enjoy that I can involve my kids in?

Think about hobbies that you enjoy (or used to enjoy—let’s be real, there is not much time in the day for extra hobbies.) Can you involve your kids somehow? For example, my son and I work in our garden together. Work is a loose term because I work the garden and he sprays the water hose and flings dirt around. It’s our thing!

3. What is the simplest version of fun I can be grateful for right now?

Sometimes we have the best intentions for things to be fun, or we plan something we think will be enjoyable for everyone, but then it’s not. In those moments, ask yourself, “What are the little things I can be grateful for right now? What can we look back on and laugh about down the road?” 

Even doing a quick gratitude practice can turn things around in the biggest way!

The bottom line is, our kids need to see us enjoying life and having fun; otherwise, what will they look forward to?

I am a firm believer in the idea you find what you’re looking for. 

If you are looking for opportunities to have fun with your kids and laugh more, you’ll find them. 

If you are looking for more happy moments with your family, you’ll find them. 

If you are looking for joy and things to be grateful for, you’ll see them. 

If you want to be a “fun parent,” you can be. 

P.S. Grab your ticket for Every Parent Wants To Know and catch my talk where I’m expanding on the need for more fun in our families, what’s at risk for kids when they aren’t having connected fun with their families, and ideas for ways you can infuse more fun into your everyday life as a family. 

By the way, the answer is yes Yes, there can be two “fun parents” in one house!

Consider a few extra resources:

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JJ Campbell

JJ Campbell is the host of the Along for the Ride Podcast, a weekly interactive show that helps you have more good times with your family while riding in the car together. These fun activities get everybody talking and laughing and before you know it, strengthening family bonds and making special memories. 

She’s always loved games and gets her best ideas for the show from childhood experiences and playing with her own baby boy, Evan. She says you can make any family experience enjoyable with some creativity and a fun mindset! 

You can find more about JJ and her podcast at Find her on Instagram @aftr_kidspodcast and say hi!

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