How to be silly, when you’re not

How to be silly

by Rachel Brown

“Mom, I love it when you are silly! You haven’t been silly since last year when you wet your pants at the restaurant.” 

That’s what my boy said to me last week. If I could insert crying emojis here I would! I mean a whole year has passed and I haven’t been silly? Are you kidding me Davis? And the time you thought I was silly was when I inadvertently yelled ‘Happy Birthday’ in a restaurant instead of singing it …and then proceeded to embarrass the fool out of myself and wet my pants?


Is it work for you to be silly? Because it is work for me for sure! 

I don’t even remember what I did that they thought was “silly” – but they loved it. “Mom, can you do that more? I just love it when you are silly!”

I take my kids to do fun things, but a lot of times I am not ‘fun’! Do you see the difference? As they have aged, the need way less assistance from me

I take them to a bounce house, but it is a catch up time with a friend.

I take my kids to the park, but I never go on the equipment.

I watch, but I do not experience it with them.


Sometimes (not all the time), they just need me to take my shoes off and go down the slide! Sometimes they need me to just swing on the swing with them. Sometimes they need me to just to take off the instructor hat and just throw a spit wad! They need me to be a kid and not the mom for a moment… not all the time but sometimes! Basically, I need to let it go and embrace my own childhood again.

Last Sunday night was just a big fat reminder to me that they will not ask me to be silly with them forever. I do not want to miss any opportunity to embrace my silly self during these short years of their childhood. My little man reminded me that life is a series of moments to be captured, not a list of tasks to be completed! 


Oh my heart, as I weep writing these words! My babies are not babies. They are 7 and 9 and it is probably the most influential years of my parenting. They watch me, they repeat me, they embrace my teachings, they respect my wishes (sometimes), they long for my boundaries of love, they want to be close to my heart, they truly want to be responsible and respectful. I just want to be more consciously aware everyday of what their heart needs in the moment. Not from a place of ‘have to’ but from a place of ‘want to’ because I know that this window is truly a blade of grass that will be cut with the next season change.

So, Davis asked me another question that night: “Mom, can you have a silly second each week?”

How pitiful that he has to ask me to be silly for one second. But, he did, and it was an awesome gentle reminder. I want to muster up my inner crazy and be a kid:

– to tell a knock knock joke

– to make a totally inappropriate sound because it makes them laugh

– to say “Davis, know what? Chicken butt” and hear him cackle like he’s never heard it before!



Being silly is not natural for me, so I need your help. How do you embrace silly? I genuinely want help!

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  1. I have all boys so it’s tough to get to their level of silly sometimes! They LOVE for me to chase them- around our small house or at the park. I can’t really catch my oldest anymore, but he would let me chase him for hours, while he just laughs! Having a headstand contest/challenge always works too! I could use more tips on being silly though!

  2. i have a friend who when someone says a phrase she will just break out in song. It’s always a song having to do with the phrase! We laugh hysterically as we continue to sing the song whether the word are all right or not! Laughter is such good medicine!

  3. rachel – you are not alone. i get this question all of the time! i swing too far the other way – totally embarrass my kids and they need some structure in their life. 🙂

    1. Thanks for this – my husband is the “fun” one. It has always been hard for me to think up ways to be funny and I admire those who are gifted in this area!

  4. i hope my friend kristen chimes in but she just talked about the difference between homes and moms and dads. her husband IS the fun! they are a great balance. don’t force it guys or feel daily pressure. keep being exactly who God made you to be. shock them with a funny dance or “yes” to ice cream occasionally – but embrace the personality you have. also, i often remember my fun isn’t just “fun for fun sakes.” i’m not here to entertain them everyday. i often partner fun with virtues as you know. let’s make learning fun not just be goofy every day. you guys are doing great! silly, calm, structured, crafty … whatever you were made to be – you were made for your exact kids. and you are loved.

    1. Thanks for this comment. I know the article was meant to be encouraging, but I started to feel bad. I am not a silly mom. I don’t mind being silly, but it doesn’t come naturally. And I am tired of articles that make feel bad for talking to my friends while my kids are at the park. I take them to the park so they can have some play time that doesn’t need to be structured by me. The entire rest of my day is about them; why should I feel bad about taking a few moments for myself. But I understand the article was about embracing silly moments, and that’s a good reminder.

  5. We have tickle parties and play “punch”. Have your kid stand on the bed and then run towards you and then just push them down on the bed. When they are down on the bed just tickle them! My kids love it.

  6. Dance with them. The more dramatic the dance moves…the better!

    Announce that everyone has 2 minutes to go to their rooms and dress up crazy…then flaunt it!

    Do “grin-again-chins” where you draw faces on your chin…the layup side down and lip sync to some crazy songs.

    Do exercise challenges…who can hold a wall sit the longest?!

  7. Ohmygoodness Rachel! I also have to make myself be silly…i’m too on task. My kids like it when i talk to them without moving my lips. We also have impromtu dance parties…this is usually to pull someone (sometimes that someone is me) out of a funk. It works everytime. (Just don’t put that “I’m an albatraoz” song on unless you make sure it’s the clean version….I thought it was just a fun song until I blasted some horrible version out on spotify. i couldn’t turn it off fast enough….luckily my kids have no clue.) Okay, i also carry clown noses in my console in the car. They help in after school car rides when everyone is hungry and tired. And you can get some funny faces on sticks from Love you friend!

  8. So true! I have been a single mom for a lot of my parenting, so the serious/responsible role is what I’ve always had to be. But they do need to see the fun/silly side of us. I have a 16 year old that is into puns these days. (Ex: I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.) So I try to find them and randomly say them. Some that will make him laugh and some that I know he will just say “Mom, that’s not funny.” & then laugh because he knows I’m trying.

  9. I’m struggling so much now with rushing. I just feel like I’m rushing my boys around constantly. Its awful. I don’t really feel we are overbooked, its just normal school and church, but they are SO SLOW and I feel like I pace the kitchen fussing all the time. I hate it. Is it just worth it to be late? Not sure how to fix this issue. Sometimes their giggling upstairs infuriates me when the bus will be here in 15 minutes and no one is dressed, brushed or has eaten breakfast. Seriously?? Their giggling infuriates me??? AHHH! That’s just awful. Jesus, help me relax and be more silly. Even if that means we are late. Show me the difference between my impatience and when we really need to get moving. I don’t want to miss the silly.

    1. Paige, This is so me!!! “Boys, stop laughing & get dressed.” WHAT IN THE WORLD?? My 2 always seem to move slower when I actually have to be somewhere at a certain time too!

      Rachel-such a good challenge for me!! Thank you!

  10. My children look for “birth marks” on me (moles, freckles, etc.) and when they press them I make a silly sound like a honking horn or a cow moo. My husband started this and he’s way better at remembering which sound goes with which mark, but it’s a great fun thing to do. And you get to lie down while doing it! 🙂

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