Raising kids is hard. One of the most difficult parts for me is when my kids go into silly mode. It’s that mode where they seem out of control and they don’t listen. They are only interested in bouncing off of the walls and making each other laugh. During these times my house feels chaotic and loud. My problem is that I spend so much time trying to suppress my kids’ silliness that I end up losing joy in the process. In my attempt to keep a tight grip on control, I lose the fun of family time and laughing together. Bonding with your kids happens in the simple day-to-day activities. The opportunities are there, but sometimes we need to adjust our attitudes to see them.
So build memories around activities by keeping your family time creative and enjoyable. Here are 10 ways to have fun raising kids.
1. Eat together & listen to each other
Most children today don’t know the meaning of a family dinnertime. It’s your chance to teach them. This is a time for parents to listen, as well as to give advice and encouragement. Attentive listening conveys a message that a person is really interested in another. It also imparts a sense of worth and helps develop trust.
2. Read often
The latest research indicates that reading to your children cultivates an interest for knowledge and stimulates language development. It also increases their attention spans and helps them become more curious. Look for books that your child would enjoy reading. After reading, ask questions about the content.
3. Do chores together
Part of what goes on in the home is the development of teamwork. Functional family life depends on the contribution of everyone. Assigning chores is the most productive way of teaching responsibility and accountability to your children. Doing chores with your child will help foster good communication skills.
4. Help with schoolwork
A great way to spend quality time with children and light a fire of learning is to help children with their schoolwork. Regular trips to the library for school projects are an inexpensive and enjoyable way to spend time with children. Helping should begin with an understanding that children are responsible for homework. Parents are there to help their child get organized and to encourage them when they get stuck.
5. Start a hobby or project
Choose a fun activity that your child is interested in. Activities like cooking, crafts, fishing or biking will make great hobbies that can open the door to exciting family time. Once a child learns a new recipe or is able to cast a lure accurately, let him or her take the lead with your supervision.
6. Play games
Children are spending long hours in front of the TV playing video games. Parents should find creative ways to spark an interest in family-oriented contests such as board games or card games. This will give parents additional time to talk and nurture their relationship.
7. Plan a family outing
Sometimes getting out of the house is important. Hop in the family car and go for a drive. Prepare a picnic lunch and visit a local park. Take time to play catch or ride a bike. A stroll in the woods will help parents interact with their children. Also, a visit to the zoo or museum will spark a child’s enthusiasm and lead to lengthy discussions.
8. Encourage athletic activities
Sports not only strengthen the body, but also build character and determination. Finding time for athletic events is important for a child’s emotional and physical development. This is a great opportunity for a family to interact.
9. Create a family time calendar
Since many parents have hectic schedules, time with children often becomes a low priority whether intended or not. Post a calendar on the refrigerator and have parents and children pencil in special events. Knowing when you’re going to meet may also help you think of creative activities. Commit to keeping this schedule free from interruptions.
10. Pray together & attend a house of worship
Nothing is more special than taking a few minutes each day to pray with a child before bedtime. By explaining the purpose behind prayer, children will learn the importance of faith as the foundation for the family. Also, when parents go to religious services, they instill in their children a reverence for God. Churches can also offer invaluable support to families.
Tell us! What are your favorite things to do with your kids?