Tina Fey’s Rules of Improv…and Parenting

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I recently listened to Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants on my Audible.com app. I loved it! One of my favorite parts was when she talked about getting her start in improv. She then shared “Tina Fey’s Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat* (*Improv will not reduce belly fat.)”

As I was listening, I thought about some of the parents I’ve worked with over the years who really struggled to talk with their kids. This list would be a fun way to give parents suggestions on how to improve interactions with their children.

Always agree and say, “Yes.”

  • This one is pretty simple.
  • Example:
    • Kid – “Do you want to build with the Legos with me?”
    • Parent – “Yes.”
  • (You will not always be able to do this.)

Not only say, “Yes” but “Yes, and.”

  • Add to the previous comment and contribute to the conversation.
  •  Example:
    • Parent – “I think I will build a house. What are you going to build?

Make statements.

  • Don’t ask questions all the time.
  • Talk about what you are doing and make observations about what your child is doing.
    • Example:
      • Kid – “I’m building a farm.”
      • Parent – “That’s a great idea. Maybe the house I’m building could be where the farmer lives.”
      • Kid – “Yeah. I’m going to build a fence too.”

There are no mistakes, only opportunities.

  • You might make a suggestion or observation that does not sit well with your child. Just keep going and try something else.
    • Example:
      • Parent – “Cool! I’ll put the house right here inside the fence.”
      • Kid – “No! The fence is just for the animals.”
      • Parent – “Ok. So I’ll move the house outside of the fence. Hmmm….where is a good place to put it?”

Just like improv, parenting gives us plenty of opportunities to laugh.

Melissa 🙂

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