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“Oh, you’re such a silly goose.”

Have you ever heard that? I have. I don’t know if geese are silly but being silly is a good thing in my mind. Especially if I’m being silly with children.

Silliness is defined as playfully lighthearted or amusing.

Somewhere along the line we were told that being silly was negative. Being silly as an adult is something we learn to repress, but one of the best things we can do for our children is to embrace silliness and be part of it.

One thing we all want for our children is for them to grow up and be stable adults. Think on this; have you felt hurt or vulnerable when you were laughing. No, it’s not possible. Laughter is joy that just bursts out of you. A child needs to be a child. Silliness is a large part of childhood. it’s a natural state for them. A fun, joyous and happy home gives a child a place of security and acceptance.

Allowing your child to be silly and when you participate in the silliness, it sends a message that their world is safe.

Being silly opens up a world full of creativity and wonderment. Your child will be having fun and not realize they are learning. Think of the many public television children’s programs. Play a game with your kids. How many words can they think of that start with the letter R? After a while they will start making up words that are not even real words and everyone will be laughing.

As a writer and storyteller for children, I have to know a lot of silly words. Some of them just sound silly to children. Here are some:

Balderdash—senseless talk or writing.

Cattywampus—out of position, sideways.

Heebie-jeebies—having the jitters or the willies. Two other silly words.

Kerfuffle—a fuss, commotion, or confusion.

Mulch—a ground cover for a garden.

Try using these words in a sentence, see what happens.

I personally have two naturally silly people in my own family. One is my Uncle Anthony. He was a police officer for all of his working life. At work he had to be serious and disciplined, even stern. But in his non-working life he was Uncle Monkey. He would run around as if he were a giant silver backed gorilla, chasing my kids and his own. You couldn’t help but laugh.

The second was my sister-in-law, Carol. She was a second grade teacher, with a PhD in Education. She would randomly begin singing Italian Opera in a high, little old lady voice. I don’t even know if it was real opera or just Italian sounding words in an operatic style. It was hilarious.

If these two intelligent, well educated, respected people could be silly so can you.

So go ahead, put your silly hat on and have fun with your kids.

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