I saw this article and thought I would share=thoughts?
A Fun Guide to Having a Blast with Your Kids
This is a guest post written by Anastasiya Goers of Balance In Me
Spending time with children can be the most amazing time ever or the most frustrating one. Sometimes when I have something on my mind but my little girls require my attention and time I just can’t have fun with them because all I am thinking about is “I need to sweep the floor. I need to finish an article. I need to … do something productive.” Have you been in this situation?
It is not fair to kids to be giving them just half of your attention. At the same time we all know that adults need some time for their “adult” things too. Do you sense an inner conflict here? It is usually in this situation that we, parents, start doubting and thinking “Am I being a good enough parent?”
If you are able to have fun with your kids no matter what then you will be able to avoid this conflict, you will be a more balanced parent and your family will enjoy more balanced relationships. It is frustrating when we understand that we need to learn to have fun (we are used to learning important things like math or spirituality, but not fun!) But the best part about it is that it is so easy to have fun with your kids because it is absolutely natural. Just follow these steps:
- Plan your fun time. Most kids don’t need their parents 24/7 (unless you have an infant of course) and they enjoy breaks from you as much as you enjoy breaks from them. However, at a certain point adults forget that they spend much more time doing responsible things (working, doing housework) than playing with the children. Make sure that you set aside play time for your kids every day. No matter how busy or tired you are, your kids deserve this time with you. You children on the other hand will know the routine and they will be looking forward to your play time instead of nagging you every 15 minutes.
- Plan your “me” time. It might sound weird in this article but having your “me” time is the essential rule of having fun with your kids especially if you are a stay-at-home parent. I find that I have the best time with my girls after I go to a Pilates class or have a nice dinner with my husband (without kids of course). It does not really matter what you do during your “me” time. You will be able to relax, feel that you are a person (not just a parent) and let go of that “always-ready-for-some-trouble-to-happen” mindset (it is tough to always be ready with your kids because they are geniuses when it comes to getting in trouble!)
- Be like a child. The best way to look at the world through a child’s eyes is to pretend like you are a child. At first you might feel uncomfortable doing that but try to repeat everything your kid does. All little kids run in a funny way but have you tried running that way? It is fun! Watch your child’s favorite TV show, maybe you will learn to like it too (I am secretly addicted to Hannah Montana, shhhh!) Look at a bug in the grass with as much curiosity and awe as your child does and you will notice how amazing the world around you is. Behaving more like a child and less like an adult will have amazing benefits for you.
- Try new things together. You might be bored to death from playing with Legos or spending afternoons on a playground. Try something unexpected together:
- with little kids you can try orchestrating your favorite songs with the help of pots and pans,
- with older kids try some fun arts and crafts (scrapbooking, knitting, wood carving),
- try new hobbies with older teenagers (scuba diving, horse-back riding, snorkeling, hiking).
It does not matter what you do, just make sure that you haven’t tried it before no matter how crazy the idea might seem at first (safety first of course).
- Relax about little things. With little kids (who need the most attention and time) the biggest difficulty is to keep them and the house clean. The truth is that this task is impossible (especially if you have more than one child). Instead of freaking out every time your child falls in the dirt while playing outside or throws parts of Mr. Potato Head all over the house, just relax about it. Washing your child will take just a few minutes but keeping him/her away from dirt is an endless job. Getting all the toys in place at the end of the day is also not a big problem especially if your little one will help you (make it a game instead of a boring chore). Do not focus on these little things and have fun with your kids.
- Spend time outdoors. Playing outdoors is the most fun in my opinion. There is so much to do and just being outside already makes you happier. Look through these ideas to inspire some outdoor fun.
- Exercise together. As adults we often try to find a reason for any activity that we participate in. With kids, finding a reason gets difficult because they just want to have fun without any logic behind it. The easiest way to find a reason and to have fun is to exercise together. If you have little kids then you can exercise holding them in your hands, put them on your tummy while doing sit-ups or lift them in the air to exercise your arms (your kid will love it!) With older kids you can have competitions of who can jump higher or longer or who can run faster (winning is not the point of course). Being active is a natural way of having fun for kids but as adults we treat exercise more as a chore. Now you can find your passion for exercise and have fun with your kids at the same time.
- Keep your energy up. The most frustrating part of
being a parent is that sometimes you really want to have fun with your
kids but your energy level is so low that you can hardly get off the
couch to get a glass of water. Lives of most people today are so busy
that low energy levels are becoming a norm in the modern world. However,
you can’t have fun and you can’t even be happy with that chronic
exhaustion. Here are easy pick-me-ups to get your energy to the level of
- exercise (works wonders no matter how tired you are);
- nature and sun (just 15 minutes outside will completely recharge you);
- good nutrition (fast food, take-outs, a lot of refined carbs, fat and high-sodium products are known to drain anybody. Fix healthy meals, use a lot of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein to keep you and your family full of food and full of energy);
- sleep (8 hours a day is a must, not an option, for high energy levels.)
Having fun with kids is so much … fun. You just have to let go of the adult in you and get re-acquainted with the child who still lives inside of you. Your life will bloom with a million new colors when you start looking at the world around you through a child’s eyes. You will also know that you are a good parent and you are giving your child all the time, love and positive energy that they deserve.
Anastasiya writes about life and work/life balance on her blog Balance In Me. Download her free eBook The Book of Wisdom: 50 ideas for the all-around balanced life.