Guest Author - Annmarie Killam
Spend time with your kids
There is nothing more important, except maybe my last point, as spending time with your kids. It is important to spend this time while they are young since when they get older, they tend not to want to spend any time with their parents. One way to spend time is a Family Fun Night. After dinner, get out the board games and have a ball. Another idea is pizza and a movie night.
Kids love making things. And a great way to spend time with them and teaches them a thing or two, is to allow them to help you make dinner. There are plenty of age-appropriate activities that children can do. This provides time, teaches skills and gives the children a sense of accomplishment.
For older children, you may want to spend time doing or teaching new sports. This activity offers so many advantages including much needed exercise for your children as well as yourself. It doesn’t matter if it is an organized activity or just out at the park swinging a bat or racket. The important thing is that your are spending time with your children.
As in an good relationship, the key is good communication. This skill can be started and taught at an early age. It is important to teach that word are a better way of solving problems. Communication should be open and honest. No mater what age your children are, it is important for them to feel like they have an opinion and that what they say matters.
Having a weekly family meeting is a good way for everyone to share his or her thoughts and feelings. Open, honest, and non-judgmental communication can be shared in this forum. If there are huge family decisions to be made, for example where to go on vacation, a family meeting will help the children feel like they are part of the decision making process. This is also a good place to go over rules and privileges.
On occasion, it may become or deem necessary for parents to be able to share from their own personal experiences. Depending on the age of your children merited what you should share. Extremely personal and private experiences should probably not be discussed, but life lessons are best when they come from experience. It is also helpful for children to know that you once had similar situations and how you went about handling them. It makes you more accessible in their eyes and opens the channels for increased trust and communication.
The dinner table is a great time to talk about the day events or what is happening in the world. It is a good way to bring up events happening in society that may be confusing and sensitive. Eating dinner is a less formal setting than the family meeting and sharing thought and questions is more comfortable in this setting. You can also find out a great deal about what is happening in your children’s lives as they share their day over a big bowl of spaghetti.
It has been shown that having an involvement in your children’s lives, greatly reduces the risk that your children will get into trouble. Lord knows that the world offers plenty of access to difficult situation, but by jumping in and being an integral party of your kids live, they will learn discipline, trust and a sense of unity. And just maybe we can reclaim possession of your children back from an ever-degrading society.
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