I was sitting next to a friend at the park when I phoned another friend and invited her to come join us. About ten minutes later she arrived and said: “Do you know how I feel right now? I feel like a teenager and that the cool girls invited me to hang out with them.”
Well, I am certainly not a teenager and I am not all that cool. But one thing that I learned from this story is how good it feels when someone wants to spend time with you.
This is a gift we can all give our children. Setting time aside on a weekly basis will make them feel so good; just like that school girl who is so excited to have an “in” with the cool girls. Showing them that we want to spend time with them regularly means that they really matter to us, and that feels really good.
Do you give this gift to your kids?
If you do – please give yourself a HUGE pat on the back!!!
If you need some help giving this gift to your kids, Creating Time™ might be right for you. Creating Time™ provides the framework in which we engage with our children on a weekly basis, be it through crafts, exploration or just plain fun and games.
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Summer vacation is here and it’s HOT! There is nothing more fun than going out to have a quick (or not so quick) water fight with the kids. The problem we often face at our home is that we do not have enough water guns for everyone and even when we do have some, they break so quickly!
Here is an easy and free solution that I have found!
- Take an empty water or juice bottle from your home.
- Remove the plastic cap and pierce at least one hole through the cap using a corkscrew. (The more holes you make the more streams you have).
- Fill the bottle up, put the cap back on and take it outside!
- Squeeze the bottle and watch it squirt!
Wishing you a fun and wet summer!!!
As a camp director I am very familiar with the girl who starts cutting out the project before she even hears the instructions. Or the boy on a trip who starts walking in the wrong direction because he is sure that he has been here before. These children do so because they just can’t help themselves. Give them scissors, they cut. Give them paint, they start painting. They have a hard time waiting and they often get frustrated with the activity because they were too busy figuring it out on their own to listen to the instructions. Then they’re disappointed with their results.
If this child sounds familiar to you, then you know what you are facing, and you have already won half the battle. You know your child, and you can anticipate his impulsivity. Here are a few tips that will help you have a great time with this child:
- Compliment them. The first step is to applaud your child for being such a great kid. Once you have encouraged her, she is in the mindset to please. She wants to continue to gain your approval.
- Whenever possible, explain the instructions of the first step of the activity before giving out the supplies. Then it will be less likely for them to start without knowing what to do. It might also be a good idea for this child to sit close to you so you can keep an eye on him.
- Take it step by step. Break down the activity into steps, and make it very clear that you are doing it one step at a time.
- If there are more children doing the activity and he is now waiting for the next step, you can ask him to help the other children. This will again make him feel good about himself.
- All in all, if your child is impulsive, it is likely for her to make a mistake. Try to remain calm, and relay the message that it is okay and that you love her just the way she is. Have extra supplies on hand in case she needs to start over again.
Creating Time™ is a great opportunity to have a fun together with your impulsive child while teaching her to follow instructions and how to deal with disappointments.
The most important things in life are often the most challenging. Quality time with our children is no exception to that rule. Here are some tried and true tips to set yourself up for success!
Time It Right
You and your kids are most likely to have good time together if you’re in the right mindset. Timing is everything. Make sure that quality time is planned for when everyone is well fed and before it’s late and they’re getting tired. Make sure that the time is good not only for your children – but for you as well. If you’re hungry, tired or irritable – abort and find another time.
Ignore the Mess
This is harder for some more than others. When parents are uptight about the mess being created by activities, the tension spreads to everyone. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’ll clean everything up as soon as you’re done, but in the meantime, have a great time.
The focus of Creating Time™ activities is connecting with our children. The outcome of the activity is at best secondary – and usually irrelevant. Many of us like to make sure when doing crafts or projects with our kids that the finished product looks nice. But in focusing in that we lose sight of our real goal – to be having relaxed, enjoyable, quality time with our children. It’s about the process, not the result.
Unless, of course, the result you’re looking for is a great relationship with your kids. That result you certainly can focus on – and you’ll get it when you keep your focus on having a great time and not on the activity itself.