Sunday Funday!

Every month I co-produce and perform in a family friendly improv comedy show at the Curious Comedy Theater (Portland, OR) called Sunday Funday. Kids of all ages are given lots of opportunities to jump onstage and play in improv games with our cast of stellar improvisers.

Every month I co-produce and perform in a family friendly improv comedy show at the Curious Comedy Theater (Portland, OR) called Sunday Funday. Kids of all ages are given lots of opportunities to jump onstage and play in improv games with our cast of stellar improvisers.

I love this show so much because it is such an expression of joy. The kids love to see adults playing make believe and taking their suggestions and using them in the comedy scenes we create on the spot. It shows the kids that their ideas have real value. Improv shows children how saying yes to each other’s ideas can be a powerful way to create something positive and amazing.

To top it all off, this isn’t one of those kids shows where the parents are left out because all the humor is just for kids. Improv has the unique ability to adapt to the entire audience’s needs and not just cater to one subset of the audience.

Also, before the show we teach a family improv workshop called Yes And Family. The purpose of the workshop is to teach kids and parents alike the basic skills of improvisation, which can help them get onstage and perform, but just as importantly can improve communication and relationships within the family.

For more information about this show click one of the following links:

Sunday Funday Facebook Event

Sunday Funday Info on CuriousComedy.org

Yes And Family workshop info on CuriousComedy.org

Samurai Patriarchy

From the Vault: This was originally posted to the old IF site on January 4, 2016.

I was reading a book about samurai to my 6-year-old. The book explained that women were trained in sword fighting, not to go to war, but to protect the home.

6-year-old: Oh come on, why couldn’t women go to war?

Me: It’s called the patriarchy.

6-year-old: (pause) Whatever that is, I hate it.

Dropping the Agenda

From the Vault: This article was originally posted on the old IF site on April 7, 2015

We always have an agenda with our kids. Especially during bed time. The bed time routine is a surgically precise itinerary filled with teeth brushing, potty going, and book reading. 

Lately I’ve felt myself having a tough time with our 5-year-old who has the focus of a…5-year-old. Imagine that. The main source of my frustration has simply been me having an agenda and him not complying with that agenda. He’s not being disobedient. He’s just…you know…all over the place. 

Tonight as we got to his room for the book reading portion of the bed time routine, I decided to drop my agenda. Usually this part of the routine goes something like this:

“Chandler, why don’t you pick a book for us to read.”
(Chandler does something with his Legos)
“Chandler please pick a book to read.”
“Dad who do you think would win? Hulk or the Thing?”
“I already told you, Hulk is basically unbeatable. Please pick a boo-”
“What if Batman helped the Thing?”
“I’ll pick a book. How about this one?”
(Chandler plays more with his Legos)

And so on and so forth. Tonight I decided to call on my improv training and I “entered the scene” with no agenda. I started the “scene” by asking him what book he would like to read because that’s the premise of the scene. But when he responded with a question about the Peter Pan show he saw earlier that night, I abandoned my agenda and just listened to him. I focused on only him and made sure to respond directly to what he was saying. I played the conversation like an improv scene, supporting and heightening his ideas. 

What ensued was a really nice conversation filled with a lot of giggles. And eventually he said, “OK let’s read a book.” He then picked a book and we read it. It’s as if because I took the time to focus on him, he became more focused on what I wanted. 

We can’t always drop our agenda to follow the crazy whims of our children. But the more opportunities you can find to let your kids take the lead, the more willing they will be to follow you back.