Every parent wants their child to be happy. If not for the peace it gives the parent at the end of a long day, then the fact that strong parenting will develop lifelong learners and happy adults.
This article will give you tips that will solidify your bond with your child, as well as help create a strong sense of self-esteem (for both you and your child).
There were a few traditions I remember from when I was a kid that really stayed with me. We used to all sit around the TV on a Sunday night with a fresh batch of popcorn and watch the Muppet Show. It was something I looked forward to, and something I remember even now as a very cool thing.
It wasn’t to watch TV, it wasn’t to eat popcorn, but it was the family aspect of the gathering that I loved: That safety in the family.
Develop your own traditions that you can do weekly with the kids. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block, it can be a little expensive like taking them out for breakfast at your favorite diner. No matter what it is, the child will see you spending time with them as a family, and will stress that as important. So even when your pre-teen is saying they never want to talk to you again, they’ll know in the back of their mind that family is important.
Ideas? It can be anything, but make it a tradition, not a one time deal.
Go for a family hike. Make a trip to the library. Family pizza movie night. Game night. A trip to Costco to get the samples. Go to the pet store. Pancake or waffle Saturday morning. Hot cocoa Sunday mornings. Family Crayon Time (get some paper and crayons out and all make art together).
If you have more than one child, you know that sometimes the kids bicker and fight. No really, they do.
Sure, the kids know you love them, but you really need to spend quality time with each individual kid (and while you’re at it, take your spouse out for a date once in awhile, you need it!).
You’re going to need someone else to help watch the other kid first. A good idea, too, is at the same time you take your child out, the other person can take the other one on a date.
On with the date: This one can get expensive if you let it, so maybe single in on something simple the kid wants to go do with you. Maybe go get a donut, a cup of hot cocoa, a walk in the park, go kick the soccer ball around, or frisbee golf. Let the child know you are going to spend just this time with him or her. It will be a special tradition for the two of you.
Of course, you have to alternate kids, or someone’s going to need therapy when they grow up.
On a smaller scale, it is also very important to set aside some time during the day (if you can) with each child. This could be a 15 minute chunk of time dedicated to whatever the kid wants to do. If they want to play My Pretty Pony with you (Dad) then you do it. Don’t let anything interrupt this time. Ignore the emails, the phone, etc. It will once again let the child know how important he or she is to you.
Family Video Games
With video games becoming more and more family friendly, and moms and dads having grown up in the Dawn of Videogames, you should include some time to play a game with the kids. There are a lot of great systems, and with the PS3 launching the Move, the XBox releasing the Kinect, and the Wii with it’s strong line of family-friendly games, you’ve got a lot to choose from.
Instead of everyone just sitting around watching tv, why not break out the video games and get the family up and laughing and having fun together?
Another thing, you’ll want to play with them when they’re young, because if they’re not already, they will get better than you soon.
Some Family Friendly Titles on the Playstation 3:
Playstation Move Release Titles
You want to develop a strong, happy, confident person. You’ll need to make time to all these things, you’ll need patience, but remember to have fun. You’re doing a great thing raising a child.