(5 Examples from a Very Experienced Parent)

As I parented 16 kids over the years, like a snowball rolling down a mountain, I picked up lots of parenting knowledge, some great and some like the rocks in snowballs – useless and painful. However, I realized two major objectives most parents have are to ensure their children are both healthy and happy. And while some might believe that this can only be achieved by giving them everything they want, we know that’s just not true. Living with a child who gets everything they want isn’t fun. Just ask the parent of a teen who has raised their child with that philosophy. Their snowballs are full of rocks. So, what do we do to raise responsible kids who respect us and actually want to be around us when they are grown? We connect with them.

Think about creating activities that both parents and children will enjoy.

Parent and children interacting
Parent and Child Having Fun

You have no doubt seen books on how to interact with your children. There are endless posts and ideas put forth by parenting experts. You believe you have seen them all. So why should you read another list? The reason for this blog post is that you might find one or two things out of the 5 suggestions which are new and might be worth trying. And you might see the value of laughing at yourself along the way. I laugh at myself a lot. This blog post gives 5 examples of how parents can create a more fulfilling experience for their child by interacting in activities together. In all, there are 13 suggestions which will be posted in three separate blogs.

Here are the first 5 different activities for interacting with your children you might want to add into your month (or not):

– Take them on a hike. Don’t like to hike? Have them do a treasure hunt around the house and your property with the prize for the winner being they get to choose something from the treasure box. Hint: The treasure box is something you have made with toys, trinkets, and activities that children get to choose. It’s a lot like the treasure box at the dentist office without all the pain.

– Try out a new board game or card game that both of you enjoy playing together. This is a great idea for families who aren’t cruelly competitive. I never enjoyed this as a kid because playing Sorry or Advantage or Monopoly was very stressful with the wonderful, cut-throat gang I lived with. This girl just wanted to have fun. However it might work well for your family though. Just don’t invite me over.

– Cook something delicious while they help. This isn’t the time to teach your child fractions, like 1/4 cup of oats or 3 T butter. The learning takes place as you work together; and as every child knows, everything in life doesn’t have to be a math lesson.

-Keep a puzzle set up in a spot where people can come by and add to it regularly. This is participating in a family activity and adding to a family project without being prompted. What could be more fun than parents and children interacting in activities that have thousands of pieces? And if the dog’s tail clears off half the completed puzzle, you can always teach self-restraint as you pick up 500 pieces of the 1,000-piece puzzle together. It is important that you laugh and don’t let your child sense how completely done you are with puzzles.

– Let them pick a book from the library to read it together. This is really a good suggestion and promotes quality time with your child. I can’t think of a reason not to do this and expect great results.

Engaging children in activities with the family provides two major benefits

One is that children learn skills from their parents and the other is that these times together deepen relationships and strengthen bonds between parents and children.

How about setting aside some time to interact with your children and discover new hobbies that suit both your interests. This blog post gives 5 examples on how parents can create a more fulfilling experience for their child by engaging in activities together. Be sure to read Parts 2 and 3 of the series on parents and children interacting in activities everyone will enjoy.

Watch for Part 2 of our topic engaging with your children to be posted soon.

How can you as a parent find support you need while raising your kids?

How about joining our parent support group, Inner Circle, which meets once a week. We can laugh and learn and sometimes cry as we share about this journey called parenting. Click Here for information.