We are the type of people who over-think things and over-analyze things and obsess about things—so what is helpful to us on this parenting journey is to somehow learn how to think, analyze, and obsess less and to go with our gut more—to follow our instincts more (all without abandoning our keen anticipation and problem-solving skills that we’ve honed all these years). It’s okay for us to be kid-silly with our kids! They need this from us sometimes! And to be kid-silly will require us to go with the flow more and not be so intellectual about everything. Part of why we may have fallen into the intellectual vein in the first place may have something to do with how we were not really given the freedom to be kids ourselves when we were kids. So now’s our second chance! (Or third chance or fourth chance if we have had more than one child.) Being kid-silly is not only good for us but also good for our relationship with our children because kid-silliness helps us to connect with our children on their level. It’s kind of backwards (and not really fair!) to expect our children to connect with us on our level (especially if that level is one of an intellectual nature). Kids just want to play and have fun, so the more we can learn how to play and have fun ourselves, the easier it will feel to connect with our children and to draw them in as we build trust with them (so that they can depend on us to take good care of them). Our job is to be their parent, yes. And as their parent, we will keep them safe and healthy as much as it depends on us. But this doesn’t mean that we have to do so sans silliness. If we can get our kids to smile and laugh all the while holding them to reasonable limits and keeping a caring supervisory eye on them, then more power to all parents everywhere who can pull this off! It certainly makes parenting more enjoyable if we’re enjoying ourselves while encouraging our children to enjoy themselves. Ideas? Use a silly voice in response to their silly voice (you don’t have to use a silly voice all the time—just every now and then), be goofy in response to their goofiness (you don’t have to be goofy all the time—just here and there), say yes as much as possible when they ask you to play with them (you don’t have to play all day—just a few minutes), say funny things as they come to mind (you don’t have to do a stand-up routine—just be funny when it comes naturally, and it will more and more), and generally be in a light-hearted-good-natured mood.