2.26.2011

Wisdom: Do you remember any activities or tips you used when you had young children?

Such fun ideas! 
-HJ: "Treat Club".  After afternoon naps we would crawl under the kitchen table and pretend it was a little clubhouse.  We'd get an after nap snack and make a really big deal of how cool it was to have our own little club - both my kids loved it and still talk about it.  Simple, but really sweet.
-CB: Singing, dancing, I wish that we would have done more outside fun time and not just sports.
-CC: I think children like organization and thrive in it.  When things are organized and done the same way, they feel secure and know the drill - less frustrating as a parent too, i.e.  bedtime ritual - putting jammies on, brushing teeth and reading a book.   When things were in chaos, everyone including me was in tears and trying to play catch up - no time for fun!
-JS: Get in a playgroup...we used to have one every Friday at 4pm.  Moms would have a glass of wine, kids would play and the dads would meet us after work.  We rotated houses between 5 families.  Highlight of the week for sure!
-SS: Easter egg hunts that included neighbor kids who didn’t know Jesus and sharing the Easter story, lots of swim parties. We were (actually still are) the “party house”. Make your house a place where their friends want to be. All you need is a big T.V. Lots of food and a Jacuzzi and you are set. Our kids friends still hang out here. Also we started a couple years ago “friends” Christmas. We have a group of 4 families and we have a Christmas celebration together. WE have kids that are in college and live out of state so once a year we all gather. We have been friends for years so this is a way to stay connected. We have had some great vacations but I think the kids love the simple things like camping. It doesn’t have to be Disneyland
-MH: Musical activities, reading books, watching children's TV programs, Sunday School, Church, Meals together
-BM: My kids loved dress up.  I would buy time for my chores by reading them a story, then they would have the project of dressing up and making play out of the story we read or their own original inspired from that story.  (while they worked on it I got stuff done... I'd tell them to rehearse it many times:). Then I video taped their play and we could share it with dad that night.  They always really liked that game,  and a few of the videos were real keepers that I still love to watch.
-AA: There were a group of moms that got together and organized different little field trips for our kids for us to do together in Wichita and close towns.  Trips they wouldn’t necessarily take in school, still educational, but fun and great interaction between different ages of our kids.  I also  tried to not accomplish too much in one day – to make a reasonable list and if it got done, great, if not – add it to the next day. I learned early on to not compare my kids with other kids – in sports, achievements, developmental stages, etc.  To love them where they are and not compare to others or even discuss with other moms… We played a lot of games early on and now we still do – when they come home from college or at holidays – our entire extended family loves to play games!! We watched sporting events very early on with them and we all still love to do that together.  Even when in college they are txting back and forth about a game we are all watching on TV  - gotta love jayhawk Basketball!! To try to focus more on Character Building moments vs. how they performed individually in a sport, music performance, school test, etc.   To focus on relationships more than the “prize” at the end.
-CC2: (a real scenario from a day-in-the life with 4 kids) “Mama wants to run a few errands alone, but child #2 begs to go along.  This will happen every time you leave the house.  Someone will want to go with you.  Take them, especially if it is just one child and you have multiple.  They need time alone with you.  We went to Hobby Lobby, the Library and to Walgreens. No excitement here, but I think it is just the daily "doing life" together that gives a relationship something to call "real."  I thought I needed time to myself, but advice: pay attention to and listen to what they don't say and you can often figure out what they need.  I am glad I took him! (And unless I really need a kid break, I never regret deciding to take someone with me, although I may not feel that way when I first say "yes").  Say yes whenever possible without loosing your authority. “
-SC: I read and read and read to my kids and they loved it. All day and at night before bed- I see my daughter do that and their kids cant go to bed without reading. Something so special about sitting down reading to your kids.  If possible, it is really great when the dad reads books to the kids, this is a great bedtime ritual! 

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