People may wonder if kids have gotten off track these days. You hear it all the time from the older generations. They think that kids these days simply aren’t as disciplined and respectful like kids used to be. You may have even noticed a change in your own child’s behavior and have wondered what the problem is.
Before we get too analytical about your child’s behavior—whether bad or indifferent—we have to take a quick peek at our own lifestyle. Lets ask a few questions. Do we work a lot? Do we work too much? How often are we home? How many times have we engaged our child this week?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. One thing I am not trying to do is point the finger at anyone by saying its all parents fault that we don’t spend more time with out kids. In some cases it may be, but we have to be realistic too. In this economy our bosses are placing more of a demand on us and many parents have to work two or more jobs just to make ends meet. One thing to remember, in times of stress, our kids need us more than ever and we should try everything possible to help keep the connection.
So, do we spend enough time with your kids?
Well, of course there are plenty of great kids in this world, but the world has become a busier place. Everyone works so much that it is hard to just let go, clock out, and get your butt home so that you can spend some quality time with the kids. Sometimes our busy, hectic world reflects in our children. Kids who are listless, have no interests, or who do poorly in school likely have parents who don’t spend much time with them.
It is important to understand that half the battle of winning our kids over and helping them progress through life is just being there for them. They need to see our strengths, see our weaknesses and how we handle different situations. Our kids’ eyes are always on us, and it is up to us as parents, to lead them until they are able to do so themselves.
Here are some great habits to get into when trying in order to help spend more time with our children.
Tip 1: Tell a Tall Tale!
When kids are young, a great idea is to read them a story before bed time. Nothing piques a child’s imagination better than a fantastic tale just before they doze off. There are dozens of good books out there that are perfect for younger kids. If you are feeling froggy, then make some up yourself! Not only does reading to your child before bed excite them, but it also helps them develop comprehension skills. And it’s just flat out fun!
Tip 2: Love Those Outdoors!
When children are very young, try to take them to a park as often as you can in the spring and summer. If you have a family dog then all the more fun! If you live where winter comes once a year, then you can have a great time playing in the snow with your child. Make sure they develop a healthy love for being outside because they will face the lure of video games later in life.
Tip 3: Make Like the Griswolds!
Take regular vacations. Family vacations are certainly difficult but can be fun when they are simple. If you live within driving distance of a beach or camping area, make a b-line for it! Camping can be one of the most economical-type of vacations you can take. Once you purchase the initial equipment then you can go a few times a year!
Tip 4: The Heart of any Family…DINNER!
Having regular meals, better yet, teaching your child how to cook can be a great way to form some good bonding time while you fill your belly. Cooking is a skill that your child will use in the future, and you can ask them a lot of questions about their day while they help you prepare the meal. After your meal, they can help clear the table and develop good work habits at an early age.
Tip 5: Kill the Tube?
Sometimes you just have to turn the TV off and play a board game. Limit their time on the TV and see if they want to work on a craft or plan a special event. Or, if your child insists on watching a lot of TV, get involved with them and try to watch shows you are both interested in and can comment on. Watch the Discovery Channel or one of the many interesting educational shows that are on cable. Avoid the “couch potato” role.
Tip 6: Just Do It!
Put together one night a week where your family spends time completely together. You can play Wii bowling—or just go to the bowling alley—put together a jigsaw puzzle or even settle in for dinner and a movie. Try to find things that can be developed into traditions for your family. These kinds of things will live with your children well into old age and help them set precedents for their own children.
Tip 7: Slam Dunk!
Involve them in sports at an early age. If you are a father or mother and you have any interest in sports whatsoever, then you can really help your child grow by teaching them a game. You can even learn with them as they learn. Imagine coming home from work and tossing ball with your son or showing your little girl the best way to shoot a basketball. It can be a great learning experience for your child and help the two of you bond. Think about all the years you can cheer them on from the sidelines as they go from season to season, growing with you and gaining confidence in themselves.
Tip 8: Get Smart!
The best way to help your child excel in school while spending time with them is to help them with their homework. If you were never good in school yourself, that’s fine, there are still certain techniques you can use to pass on to them. Not only does this allow you some time together, but it eliminates later problems for both you and your child.
Regardless of which tips you are able to pull off, you should see a marked improvement in your child’s behavior just by being there. Don’t allow time to run out for you and your child. Be conscientious of how precious that time with your children is, and make the most of it while you can.