Making parenting fun
What's fun about getting up at 6:00am to ensure that my little darlings are dressed, fed and watered, allowing myself a mere five minutes before the school run to sort myself out? What could possibly be entertaining about having to deal with a temper tantrum in the baked bean aisle of the local supermarket?
Which part of that title did you not understand? It could reveal quite a lot about your personality...
"Making?" you say. "There's no need to make the act of bringing up kids fun... It is fun! My little sunbeam brightens up the house from when I get up at 8:00 to when I settle him to sleep at 6. I just love seeing his cheerfulness throughout the day. And when he has his afternoon nap, it allows a little 'me-time' - maybe have a friend over for coffee or write a letter..."
Perhaps you are more cynical?
"Fun?" you cry. "What's fun about getting up at 6:00 to ensure that my little darlings are dressed, fed and watered, allowing myself a mere five minutes before the school run to sort myself out? What could possibly be entertaining about having to deal with a temper tantrum in the baked bean aisle of the local supermarket? Or flopping down on the sofa fit to drop at 8:30, hoping that the night ahead will not involve too many interruptions from screaming babies? Huh!"
This article has been written, you'll be pleased to read, with the second group in mind. If there are any perfect parents out there who find parenting a doddle, my advice to you is to write a book on your methods and retire early on the proceeds.
The truth is, parenting can be and should be a whole lot of fun, but several factors can hinder the enjoyment that should be ours as parents. It is my aim to consider some of the obstacles to the pleasure that parenting should bring and suggest strategies to get rid of these hindrances so that you can enjoy your children once more.
Too much to do, too little time to do it in. Days are spent rushing from one job to the next, with your child tagging along for the ride. And when you finally have settled him for the night, all you are fit to do is drop. There is no easy answer here, but something to remember:
- Don't be too busy to sit and watch your child play. Jesse Jackson put it succinctly: "Your children need your presence far more than your presents." Sometimes we all need to physically make the time to stop. Enjoy your kids' company.
You know the feeling... You've one screaming baby, a car-sick toddler and an argumentative five-year old. Difficult to control? Even more difficult when you're in the middle of a complex parking manoeuvre at the supermarket, reversing your 4x4 into a space that a shopping trolley would find tight. The idea of your children having fun today is a long-forgotten pipe dream. Parenting is no fun when you are stressed.
- A practical tip is to call for parental time out! Of course, there are so many times and situations where this is not possible (e.g. with a very young child), but if you can and when you can, find a quiet place for 30 seconds or so and do some diaphragmatic breathing or whole-body stretching. It should allow you to return to the situation less stressed and in control. Ready to enjoy your children having fun again.
The immediacy of your child's needs and her relatively short attention span mean that boredom can settle-in fairly quickly. Car journeys, long-haul flights, visiting relatives; all are potential boredom hotspots. And a bored child equals a stressed parent.
- Planning is everything here. Have you a very young child? Take a bag from home and fill it with a variety of objects: toys, soft material, pictures cut from magazines, different textures and sounds. Call it a stimuli sack and dip into it when the going gets tough! For older children, remember that nothing works better than a contest or an imaginative conversation. Look at number-plates - who can make the funniest phrase from their letters? If Uncle Norm was an animal, what do you think he'd be? There are plenty of fun kids' games out there - get planning!
Lack of Support
Parenting can be a lonely business sometimes. When a baby arrives, your social circle can change. Some friendships drop off as you simply don't have the time to maintain them any more. Conversations revolve more and more about your child and you can feel that this parenting lark isn't much fun. - Make sure that you actively think about your support network. Is there a partner who can take on some of those jobs you already do? Will friends and family baby-sit, allowing you a much-needed meal out to arrive back a refreshed and rejuvenated parent? Do you make good use of internet websites, parenting forums and resources? They are available 24-7 and there are many parent-aimed articles related to play and young children that you will find helpful.
A final note: Don't lose your senses of perspective and humour.
Perspective will allow you on the most stressful of days to realise that you've been given your child as an amazing gift to enjoy and cherish. Don't become a cynic. Parenting should be fun.
The sense of humour will help you when your baby begins to cry for the fifth time tonight... "The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable!" (Lane Olinghouse)
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ivana Katz of Hey Gorgeous Kids shows you how to make parenting fun - keep your children entertained for hours with FREE fun activities for kids, create special memories, do some serious shopping, explore exciting parks & playgrounds and so much more!!! Get a free special report "What You Need to Know Before Travelling with Kids" - www.heygorgeouskids.com