I’m excited to partner with Gymboree to put a smile on your face in support of the Gymboree Made You Smile campaign. This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure for details.
You know what kids are really awesome at? Doing whatever they want.
If playing with trucks is going to make a kid happy, he is going to play with trucks. If she is going to get more joy from the giraffe stuffed animal than the walrus stuffed animal, then she is going to choose the giraffe. They understand instinctively that they have the power to make themselves smile.
You Make Me Smile Like the Sun
My son Jack teaches me about making himself smile every single day when he chooses what clothes to wear. Ever since he turned three, Jack has been picking out his own clothes and dressing himself. This makes me smile because it saves me a solid ten minutes in the morning. Plus he gets to express his independence in a way that doesn’t involve trying to stir the hot pot of macaroni and cheese. Jack is smiling because he gets to be a big kid and can leave the three pairs of khakis he owns unworn at the bottom of the drawer. Circling back to me again, I don’t need to iron said khakis. We all win.
For the first three months of dressing himself, Jack’s clothes were almost always on backwards. The 90s kid in me enjoyed this immensely, Kris Kross will make you jump jump! But the parent in me suggested that he may want to turn his shirt and pants around for the sake of comfort. His response was always the same. “I like it this way.”
So you know what? Fine. Honestly, what was the big deal? The neckline of the t-shirt might be a little higher in the front than it is supposed to be, but I don’t see any chafing. He usually chose sweatpants and it really didn’t matter if the string was in the front or the back. We’re not even talking about the whole matching situation here. It’s pretty easy for traditional little boys clothes to match – there is a lot of navy blue. But he usually found a way for his clothes to not match. It was a skill. But wearing his clothes this way made him smile.
Smile Like You Mean It
We lose a bit of this ability as adults. Even in a world in which we can choose what station we turn the radio to or what we are going to eat for lunch, we don’t always make the choice that will make us smile. There are adulty type reasons that I understand. The country station makes us happy, but we should probably listen to a little NPR so we know what’s going on with politics. We really love pizza, but for health purposes we might choose a kale salad. That’s responsible, but not a lot of fun. No one genuinely likes kale. Kale isn’t making anyone smile.
But why can’t we have our kale and smile too? Perhaps kale hidden in a smoothie, or kale baked into a meat covered pizza? Perhaps I’m just hungry…
I’ll put on my career coach hat here for a non food related “make yourself smile” example. What choices can we make in our careers that will bring a smile to our face instead of just a paycheck to our bank accounts? Paychecks are important, but so is smiling. What’s your equivalent of putting on your shirt backwards at work?
Think about a little change you could make that isn’t going to hurt anyone, could maybe even inspire a bigger and important change, and simply makes you happy. From taking a walk at lunch to kickstarting a new initiative that connects your outside interests to your day job, it’s all possible. Let’s take a cue from our kids. We can still be responsible, but let’s also make sure every day we are making a choice for ourselves that makes us smile.
You could even see what your shirt looks like on backwards. Could be cool.
So what prompted all this smiling business? Well, a business actually. A business that somehow knows how to sell adorable, quality clothes and how to get my creative juices flowing. It’s not the first time Gymboree has come up with an ad campaign that has inspired a blog post about parenting, life, and happiness over here and I hope it won’t be the last.
The new Gymboree advertising campaign is called “Made You Smile” because they have gone through a redesign to make their kids’ clothing more durable, comfortable, and fun. With kids’ and parents’ smiles in mind, the new clothes coming out are all about giving kids the freedom to create their own style while making sure the clothes last. More opportunities for my kid to dress himself adorably and remind me to take control of my own happiness?#MadeYouSmile – I’m #allin.
Need a smile today? Check out Gymboree’s video with adorable kids lip syncing to “Never Gonna Give You Up.” For a quick smile, fast forward to minute 3:29. Dude, that kid… too cute.
So if your kid has outgrown the clothes that give him a sense of independence and put a smile on his face, head over to Gymboree to stock up. They’re never gonna let you down.
With the hope that I made you smile and a real strong desire to dance around in a graphic tee,