Don’t do anything that you’re not prepared to repeat a million times.
Can you make a funny voice or a crazy face? Before you pull out your special moves consider this: the child will ask you to do it until it is broken. Have you ever heard of a child watching the same movie back-to-back all day long, for weeks? They do it.
I get caught in this one all the time because I am always trying to be fun with kids. Naturally they want me to do that thing over and over again, but I don’t let them win.
Here’s how I’ve learned to get out of it
When I am ready to stop being the puppet I say something like, “[That] was fun, right?!” I give them a chance to respond to that before I continue with, “Alright, let’s go do [this].”
There are 2 parts to this:
- First, I am showing them that I can see they’re having fun with it, as was I.
- Second, I lead them into a distraction.
It is much easier to distract with something more interesting/fun, but sometimes the distraction just can’t be a winner. It doesn’t need to be a winner either, because the distraction has shifted the focus away from what I am trying to stop, which means they’re going to have to ask me to start doing it again. At that point I can say, “No thanks, we’re doing this now.” Or they are doing that new thing, or just “No thanks.”