Play With Your Kids and Still Get the Job Done
by Colleen Langenfeld
"Mom, I'm bored!"
"Dad, play with me!!"
If you're a parent, these plaintive cries from your
children can become daily shouts. As busy moms and dads, we're continuously torn by the demands on our time. Here
are some simple ways to spend time with your kids while getting the jobs done that need to be done (including
the toughest job of all, parenting). These Sneaky Fun ideas are also great ways to teach our children exactly
how to successfully accomplish many routine tasks.
- Make a silly dinner together.
Think 'Green Eggs and Ham' or try a picnic on the living
room floor. Bring your child along for the meal planning,
shopping, prep time and clean-up. Involve them each step of the way.
- Turn on the music and clean, clean, clean.
Forget TELLING your kids to go clean; side-by-side, with
some of their favorite music playing, move through the
house dancing and cleaning. They'll love it (and so will you).
- Exercise together.
You know you need to do it. Your child is your perfect
exercise partner. Make it a 'talk and play' time and
you'll both get fit together.
- Share a hobby.
Love to fish, garden, sew, paint, sing? Share that love
with your youngster. Try an interest that fascinates
them. Learn a shared passion - together.
- Start a girls or boys night out.
You will make an incredible impression with this one.
Take your daughter out for regular manicures and lunch.
Stay close to your son with a favorite concert or sporting
event. Teach your children about wholesome entertainment and the joy of healthy relationships. You can even team up
with another parent and child for regular fun; just make sure that honest conversation is the true priority.
- Improve their skills.
Do you have a student struggling with homework? Quit
nagging and ask them to teach YOU what they've learned. Be a patient listener. The fastest way to learn is often
- Wash the cars.
Need I say more? Water, the chance to soak mom or dad, and a sense of accomplishment when it's all done. Follow
up with an ice cream cone for a job well done.
- Growing things.
Countless gardeners have discovered deep satisfaction in
sharing their love of growing things with children and
grandchildren. Gardening is a useful de-stressing tool
and the most frustrated child tends to loosen up and share their heart while getting their hands dirty alongside a
- Plan, plan, plan.
If your household is anything like mine, it benefits
greatly when I take the time to map out regular
activities. Menu-planning, budgeting and vacationing come to mind, for starters. Show your child (of the appropriate
age) how to use their time and money wisely by including them in the planning of everyday family activities. As
they mature, they can easily be put in charge of some of these planning sessions, teaching them to younger
siblings. Your trust and belief in your kids can ease the stress on them as they grow, too.
Almost all families struggle with organization in some
area. Truth be told, we're simply busy people and have
often outgrown the simplistic organizing methods that
once worked just fine. Give your kids the opportunity to
be the creative organizer in your family. Whether its
making sense of the family photos or tackling the hall
closet, do it with them to get the job done and make a
memory that's shared.
- Schedule the fun.
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Try
scheduling a set time of fun in exchange for a set time
of work. For example, Monday can be family board game
night while Saturday morning sees the family hard at work in the yard. Sometimes it's easier for kids to see the
point when it's a straight trade off of time and energy.
The idea here is simple and clear. Use everyday
activities to build relationships and teach responsibility. After all, everybody wins when 'fun'
becomes a part of daily life!
Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful resources to working
moms. Make your life feel easier, healthier, smarter
by reading our One Good Idea ezine. Start by visiting
http://www.paintedgold.com and clicking on the
happy kids' picture now!
This article provided by the Family Content Archives at: http://www.Family-Content.com
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