During my most recent trip to California, my four-year-old, book-loving Josephine asked me to read “The Pout Pout Fish” again. And again. And again. And….
And you know what? That was just fine with me. I love that book—especially Pout Pout’s response to everyone’s request to turn his frown upside down and be happy. He says…
“I’m a Pout Pout fish with a pout pout face, and I spread the dreary wearies all over the place.”
No matter what any of the other fish say…no matter how valid their complaints about his mood or how wise and well-meaning they sound, the Pout Pout’s response is always the same. He can’t. He can’t because he was made to be a spreader of the dreary wearies.
Until a fish comes along that knows that it’s gonna take more than words to get the Pout Pout to change. This shiny, purple fish knows the Pout Pout needs to be motivated and stimulated. So, what does she do? She kisses him.
Yep! She plants a sweet little kiss right on his pouty pouty lips. And the rest, as they say, is history. Pout Pout is no longer interested in spreading the dreary wearies. He’s on to bigger and better things, aka spreading the cheery cheeries! Now every day is a celebration.
Okay, now let’s get to the here’s-what-you-need-to-learn-from-this. And no, I’m not saying that a little kiss always makes everything better. I am saying that as parents and grandparents we need to take more time and make more of an effort to motivate and stimulate—not just articulate.
And here is how you do it. Don’t just talk at your kids. Work alongside them to teach them how to do (fill in the blank). Show affection. Show up for your kids. Set an example of right behavior for your kids. Or to put it in Pout Pout language’s—if you don’t want your kids to spread the dreary wearies or be brought down by the dreary wearies, motivate, and stimulate them to be their amazing, wonderful selves, then celebrate it. Every single day.