Balancing your responsibility as a parent to keep your kids grounded and cared for with fun times can be a lot to take on. You want them to have the world, but your child’s well-being comes first. This means that not-so-fun things like chores, homework, and eating vegetables will usually take priority.
Even though these are the realities of being a kid, you can keep your kids happy this year by becoming an even more resourceful and creative parent. Here’s how to keep your kids as happy as possible this year.
Schedule Family Activities
When the weekend rolls around, avoid the cries of, “I’m bored!” by scheduling family activities in advance. By marking in your calendar events to do as a family each weekend, your kids can have a family-filled schedule when they’re off from school and have something to feel excited about during the week. Some family outings to try out might include going to the zoo, seeing a movie, or eating dinner at a family restaurant.
Give Your Kids An Allowance
To make chores more fun, give your kids an allowance each week. Not only will they look forward to their reward, but they’ll learn the value of hard work, and this will be a lesson they’ll take with them all through adulthood. For particularly difficult chores, like collecting their sibling’s bamboo diapers out of the diaper genie, a bonus allowance amount can be offered as encouragement.
Teach Your Kids Emotional Regulation
To keep your kids healthy and feeling happy, you can teach them emotional regulation skills so they can monitor their negative moods on their own.
Using strategies developed in dialectical behavioral therapy, you can show your kids how to meditate, write in a journal, describe their emotions, and let big feelings come and go without heightened reactivity.
It takes practice, but teaching your kids about the inevitably of suffering and how to manage these feelings, are essential skills that they will take into adulthood.
Be Spontaneous Sometimes
Surprise your kids with special treats and outings when they least expect it. Showing some spontaneity as a parent will allow your kids to see that you’re a lot of fun, even though you provide structure and discipline. Your kids should respect you, but they should like you, too. So, try to balance both aspects of parenting to keep your kids as happy as can be this year.
Keep Your Kids Busy
Childhood is the time to explore. Keep your kids happy this year by getting them involved in activities that enrich their minds and keep them busy. With more to do, they’ll discover more about themselves and avoid feeling bored or underwhelmed.
Play With Your Kids
Do something with your kids that they enjoy, even if you can’t stand it. Learn a new game, run around in the yard with them, and bite your tongue for thirty minutes. Spending time outside is a double-bonus, just make sure to use bug spray in the summer to prevent your kids from experiencing pesky mosquito bites (find out how long do mosquitoes live).
They’ll appreciate that you want to spend time with them, and you’ll earn the respect points you want. In all relationships, even those you have with your kids, a positive rapport is a two-way street. You have to give out what you hope to get back.
The Bottom Line
To keep your kids happy this year, put all the essentials you need in your parenting toolkit to find a balanced approach to fun and structure. Overall, kids need a sense of structure but also a healthy dose of fun. Consider the suggestions in the list above and utilize your resources and creativity to keep your kids as happy as possible this year.