If life is difficult for us in these times, consider how hard it is for our children. Remember ‘for love, you need time’. When you get the time, don’t throw it away, by putting children into ‘summer classes’ and ‘winter break activities’. Spend the time with them. Otherwise, later on don’t wonder why there is no bonding, no caring. How can it be when at every opportunity you are looking for ways to get the children out of the way?
Come to think of it, how much time, do we have with our children? Most of the time, one is telling them, ’get up’, ‘get ready’, ‘have food’, ‘time for school’ ‘Finish your homework!’ So, after all that is done, how much time is there? Even when it is there, we are busy with something or the other.
So, while making the weekly, plan during summer or winter vacations do plan for activities with children. Cook nice dishes for them, arrange fun activities. Let them feel important.
Remember when you have guests, then you are with them, your children are not getting your attention. So, when you give time to your children, it means giving your full attention to them also.
Every summer, I’m being asked about classes for art or other activities, where mothers can put their children. Why?
Why not take every vacation in school as an opportunity to bond with your child at home? In fact, many times, I’ve taken the children with me by taking leave from school. I believe, our children learn more through travel.
Lots of time, I’m asked how have I got such lovely daughters, well it is because I had special ‘family time’ on a daily basis with them. During vacations I planned out lovely outings and activities for us to do together. Even on weekends we went on outings. Such outings and activities are important for bonding among family members.
If such times are not planned properly, I knew we would mostly get on each other’s nerves. (That doesn’t mean we never got on each other’s nerves. We still did some times.) So, it was best for us to balance it all. If there were ten days of winter or spring break, I’d make a plan for activities for at least four to five days. If possible, we would bring their father also into our plan. Otherwise, we went on our own. I’d get a tourism department brochure on places to visit in the city. (Remember, it was the time before internet.) Then I’d check out the activities and events in newspapers. Most of the time I knew what was going on, as I was writing about many events, in magazines and newspapers. So, we’d mark out what we wanted to do:
- Just get the house tidied up, so we come back to agood neat home.
- I’d make sure there was food in the ‘fridge. Mostly, I’d take along snacks, or even a meal to be taken as a picnic.
- We would often use the opportunity to eat out.
- Usually, I’d have the food cooked a day before.
- Water, (yes, there were no mineral bottles then.) Juices, and we were ready.
- Sometimes, we’d take our pets along too, if it was an outdoor location.
Where to go?
- Art gallery.
- Puppet theater.
- Fun land.
- Science museum.
- Folk heritage.
- Have a picnic in a beautiful spot.
- Watch movies.
- Take them for theater plays.
- Specially, take them to book fairs.
- Take them to literary festivals, and get them books.
Points to keep in mind:
- Keep it short and crisp, if needed. Avoid dragging an event. This will make them hate such outings.
- Keep it fun.
- Have their favorite snacks hidden in your purse, to give when their moods get bad.
- I’d ask you to keep your personal calls and smart phone time, totally limited. (I’m being realistic enough to not ask you to avoid altogether.)
- Do not take your maid with you. Do everything for your children yourself.
Of course you don’t go out daily. So, have indoor activities too. Let them help with household chores too. Then all of you can do something together. It can be any of the following:
- Reading out the holy book, (one person reads andeveryone listens.)
- Cuddle up on the carpet to watch a movie,
- Play a game.
- Sing songs together.
- Dance together with music on full blast.
- Just talk for hours, if you feel like it.
- Share important events in life with each other.
- Cook their favorite meal with their help in the kitchen.
- Throw a party, with party games in it. Let it all be a family event, where each person does something. (Instead of leaving all the work for you alone.) Remember to give them full credit during the party. One child can lay the table, other can make the salad and sweet dish. One of them can serve the cold drinks to the guests. Everyone can help clean up afterwards.
- Cleaning up, or sorting out clothes, cupboards and drawers.
- Planning and doing a new setting of lounge or the kid’s bedroom.
There are times in life when you do not have to play your role as a parent too much. Just be a friend to your kids, play silly games with them. I tell you, laughing together is the best medicine for all.
Stay blessed, lovely ones. Parenting can be so much fun, if you let it be so.