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  • Viva Sarah Press

Applying clowning principles to parenting

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

My 12-year-olds had a tweenager quarrel.

He said. She said.

It happened suddenly while we were sightseeing. On a hot day. In the sun.

So, as any good parent who has been learning and applying the principles of improvisation and clowning these last two years – in the classroom, as an educational clown in schools and in devouring numerous research papers on the subject– would do, I agreed that such bickering should continue.

The theatrical game of “Yes, And…”

My caveat: That it take place in the shade.

The tweenagers didn’t like that I wasn’t taking sides.

They tried harder.

He called me this. She called me that.

Please, move this to the shade.

I played along with them. She called you this… great. And you called her that… great.

Now you can call one another this and that… in the shade.

And they laughed. Because my agreeing with them and not reprimanding them was ridiculous.

And because I was so intent on getting to the shade.

When we got to the shade, the squabble was almost over.

I was so happy to be in the shade and launched into a speech, pointing out all the benefits of bickering out of the sun’s rays.

They rolled their eyes and walked away, together. Ahem, I was mid-sentence!

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