My 4-year-old spills a container of lemonade on the kitchen floor just after I mopped it. Next, my two boys wrestle to the point that one is now in tears. Then, I trip on a Lego. Our day needs a reset button. But does that even exist?
Luckily, I found one and it works like a charm. Want to know what it is?
Read a funny book together. Sounds simple, right? It is. I like to think of it as one of my secret parenting ninja powers — and it works every single time.
Now, I'm not alone when it comes to believing in the power of a good read-aloud. Did you know that according to the 6th Edition Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 91% of parents with kids ages 0-5 and 82% of parents with kids ages 6-11 enjoy read-aloud time? And, it's not just the parents who enjoy this activity — the kids do too.
To use reading aloud as your reset button with your children, start with a super silly book. Really, the sillier the better. In my family, we have two go-to favorites:
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas is the story of four dust bunnies who love to rhyme. However, Bob the dust bunny keeps interrupting the rhymes with threats of brooms and warnings of the approach of the dreaded enemy — the vacuum. I credit the book with not only providing lots of giggles, but also helping my kids learn to rhyme.
The second book is There Is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems, which is one of the funniest books in his Elephant & Piggie collection. The back-and-forth dialogue between the two animals is hilarious.
You can't go wrong with any books by Jan Thomas or Mo Willems.
Need more book suggestions to have on hand? Try books parents love to read to their kids or kids' all-time favorite books. Both lists are filled with great books to enjoy with your kids.
The second part of my secret reset trick is that when you read, you have to cuddle up with your child. My kids love to climb into our bed and build pillow supports all around us. Sometimes we snuggle up on the couch and cover up with a blanket. The key is that we all have physical contact with each other.
There you have it: A secret ninja tool to add to your parenting toolkit. Grab a funny book, gather the kids close, and press reset.
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