I always say, if you get the chance to have children, that’s the greatest feat you’ll ever achieve. Nothing is more rewarding than bringing life into the world and next to that is rearing that life into a person of substance and good character.
I myself am a single mother of two, and I always say my children are my angels because if it weren’t for God blessing me with them, I don’t know if I would be where I am today let alone alive. So everything I do, I do it for them, my time is their time because they matter that much to me. Yes, the little monkeys drive my bonkers, but I swear the minute they’re not by my side, I’m missing them like crazy. Wondering what they’re doing, are they making good choices? Did I teach them enough to be able to handle life at the ages they’re at? And praying that they are safe and happy where ever they may be.
One mistake I think some parents make is, they don’t bond with their kids or know how to. I find that sometimes life will put you in situations where some of the things we take for granted are suddenly things we can’t avoid or attempt to omit. Such as, spending time with our children. When they have all these devices: video games, cell phones, tablets, etc. all their attention is consumed by it all. And in this era where technology reigns so high, so are we as parents. The point is, we’d rather play Candy Crush than sit down and communicate with our children. Take away those devices and distractions because you can’t afford it and next thing you know you’ll suddenly value each other more because you’re all you have.
So I bring you, my Top 5 things you can do with your children that I believe (from experience) will help to develop the close relationships that some of us desire to have with our children but don’t know how to achieve.
#5. Arts and Crafts
I remember when I was a kid, about 9 years old, my mom and I picked up crocheting. And when we were home watching tv, we would work on a blanket together, taking turns crocheting rows at a time.
There are tons of arts and crafts you can do. Go to the store and by fun kits that you and your kid(s) can do together. Get a little messy with paint, get dirty with gardening and maybe a little saw-dusty with wood working. Let them help you with DIY job around the house. Need something to decorate the house with, if you have the skills to create it, don’t buy it already made, work together to make it yourselves. What is key about these activities? They require communication, trust and teamwork and you don’t need a device to do it!
Obesity is a serious problem in our country. Many of us often make excuses for why we can’t get up and work out. But we have to remember as parents that our children not only learn from what we say, but they learn from what we do. And if they see us being lazy and perhaps gluttonous, then we can’t fault them completely if they do the same.
Go running with your kid(s). Do yoga. Get one of those work out videos, especially the dancing ones and work out with your kids. My mom and I used to do that with Zumba and other work out videos. It’s fun because (at your expense) your child(ren) get to laugh at how awkward you look dancing and you have a chance to motivate each other to keep going.
Here’s a suggestion, I downloaded the game Pokemon Go, I’m teaching myself and the kids how to play it so that when they come home from vacation, we’re going to go catch Pokemon! I think going to the park is ideal because if you stay at the park, you avoid the street or getting lured into anything dangerous. Plus, now that you’re at the park, they will eventually want to put the phone down and go run around and play… psst! Go play with them!
#3. Wing it !
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to have all the answers, all of the time! I know, alarming isn’t it!?
Be random, make stuff up as you go. For example, try sitting down, face each other and play the staring game! Thumbs war, Arm wrestle or teach them an old hand clapping game. Create a secret handshake. Play hide and seek in the house. Let them do your hair! My daughter gets a kick out of me letting her play with my hair…until one day I heard scissors open in her hand. She’s good now, she taught herself how to braid. Guess who’s getting a free hair dresser in a few more years? Ha! This guy!
#2. One-on-One time with mommy…or daddy.
So as I said earlier, I have two children, an eight-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl. And they both ask me for one-on-one time with me. So when I’m able, I oblige them. He’s a boy scout (shout out to pack #118), so when they have events, I try to leave her at home with grandma when I can so he and I can have that special one-on-one time. It’s not selfish of them to ask. It’s necessary and mentally healthy. My little girl and I go and get our nails done together sometimes. And they can’t get enough of it. I think that sometimes, we do so much together that they get tired of sharing me and just want me all to themselves. What’s the p
ayout? They tend to open up about things that are on their minds more, when it’s
just the two of you.
#1. Netflix and Chill… ugh! No, Not like that!
This is the one I love the most! Possibly because I’m addicted to Netflix!
You always hear the term, “Lets Netflix and Chill” but I hate the common connotation it’s adopted. Especially since mommy hasn’t “Netflix and Chilled” with anyone in a very long time but I literally watch Netflix while I’m hangin’ with my kids all of the time. Sometimes my daughter like to jack my phone when I’m about to do her hair and she says, “Tee hee hee hee, mommy you want to watch a movie?” or “Lets watch something we both will like.” And I tell you, all those naps she claims hurts so much, suddenly don’t phase her.
I won’t hide it; yes, I use Netflix as a digital babysitter. Hey you do what you’ve got to do! When I’m at work, talking on the air, I’ve got them on a computer, watching Netflix. And my little drones quietly watch it and don’t
budge for anything more than to use the bathroom and to quietly check on me from time to time.
Other than that, some nights we’re cuddled up in my bed, eating snacks, watching Netflix on the tv. Serious series binging. Point is, we’re doing it together.