1. When you make a meal plan, include your child and let them pick what is on the menu. They will almost always eat better if they are included in the dining decisions. Let them help stir, measure, pour and put away. Get in a routine of setting the table together. Make mealtime a fun, memorable tradition by telling jokes and talking about the day's adventures. Open the communication doors.
2. Instead of telling them over and over to do their homework, sit down help and encourage them. Give them kudos and tell them how proud you are. A little praise goes a long way. It will only make them want to try harder to make you proud. They not only have a sense of accomplishment but they get in the habit and it takes away the sting of the frustration we feel when homework becomes a dreaded burden. Help them, ask questions, get involved in their education. You're giving them tools for being responsible, caring adults later in life.
3. Get in the habit of reading with them every single night. 20 minutes doesn't seem like much, but it will change lives. Include them in the dialogue as you read along. Have them answer questions. Whether you read in funny voices or have them say the repetitive words when you point to them, it keeps the spark alive and leaves them wanting more.
4. Good old fashioned games, yes, GAMES. Teaching a child to play games gives them a sense of sportsmanship. We all love to win something, whether you let them win or not is up to you parents, but learning to lose is also a life lesson that shouldn't be missed. It's all in the experience. Enjoy their facial expressions and watch them as they build confidence in learning to play. Cards, board games, learning or just fun, it's a great bonding experience for everyone in the family. My personal favorite is "Hide the Button." It never gets old.. Getting warmer.. Your on fire! You found it.
5. Cleaning a room can be overwhelming for an adult let alone a child. It's so important for you to get in and help. You're teaching them structure and cleanliness. Show them how to organize their toys and hang up their clothes. You can even make a game out of it and make it fun. Tossing clothes into a hamper from across the room. Having a race to see who can fill up the basket of toys fastest. Kids learn by example and they love to see that you're willing to help them.
6. Plan silly activities for outside. Instead of telling your children just to go outside and play, have some chalk on hand to draw on the sidewalk. A frisbee, ball or badminton set up ready for the family to have some good times. Whether you go to the park or play in the backyard kids don't need fancy they just need attention.
7. Arts and crafts time never gets old. It doesn't have to be expensive, it's as simple as
8. Take them on field trips. Whether it's a learning excursion or just a fun trip to see how a specific factory
9. Sing silly songs always. Whether it's in the car or at home while you're cleaning. It's such a simple thing, but kids love to sing funny songs and dance silly. What's more, they love to do it with mom and dad. Make up silly songs with all of the family members names, even your pets. Sing loud, sing proud and have fun.
10. Once a week have a family movie night. Popcorn, drinks and snacks made by the children. Put blankets on the floor, remove the coffee table and have them bring all of their pillows and snuggle bears and animals and enjoy the movie of their choice. Laugh out loud and be in the moment. Put your cell phones and laptops away and breathe. You won't regret it.