One of my favorite phrases is “Involve Me” as time goes so quickly when raising a child. I miss those days! And, while there is stress in every chapter of life, it’s truly up to us to choose our battles. I choose to be happy, to find the joy and the positive in any given situation, for I do believe there are lessons there, too!
So, I thought I’d share some simple ideas to involve your children during this time of the year and hopefully you’ll find some happiness in this and continue to involve them all year long. My tip is to find something that they enjoy doing, or, introduce them to new things and they may surprise you in finding joy in doing some of them!
1. Let them bake with you in the kitchen, yes, it can become messy, but, teach them to be responsible and help clean up the mess!
2. Let them help you if you’re sending out holiday greetings, write the family name, put on the stamps, put the card in the envelope. This will show them the friends you have as a family and maybe they’ll suggest new ones along the way.
3. Let them go on walks with you, remember, communication and social interaction are the backbone of a child’s development! Allow them into the conversation when you run into neighbors or friends along the way.
4. Show them to be respectful of the world around them, involve them in chores! If it’s cleaning their room, the front porch or taking out the trash. As they grow, introduce them to additional chores, too.
5. Let them give their input on the shopping list, this is a good opportunity to talk about healthy foods for the family and it’s fun to shop for family favorites.
6. Let them help put shopping items away, this will help with their organization skills!
7. Let them help you when you’re working on a project or hobby, ask their advice, ask their opinion and ask if they would like to try it. If it’s knitting, planting, writing, etc. this introduces them to new things and when they know that it’s something that you like to do, perhaps they’ll find interest in it.
8. Let them help you put the laundry where it belongs, this way when you ask them to grab a towel, they’ll know where it is, or their favorite yellow socks, they’ll know where to find them.
9.Find a simple craft to make and give out as a gift, to another family or friend. Let them feel the joy that this will bring, and they can say they helped make it.
10. Play games with your children!
11. Have a treasure hunt with your children.
12.Read stories together.
13. Write stories together.
14.Paint together, put two canvas (or thick media paper) side by side, draw a heart leaving half on one and half on the other, you paint your half, they paint their half and then hang them side by side!
15.On scrap paper, everyone gets to write down ten things they like to do or to read or would like to do or to read. Put them in a bag, shake it up, after dinner or when homework is completed, let one person pick from the bag for everyone to get involved in. Set special time aside for this so that you enjoy it!
16. Same as the above except write down things that are difficult for you, something that you would like to learn and this way it’s something that the family can help each other out with. Maybe your son struggles tying his shoes, now you know, and you can practice, perseverance!
17. Next write down each family members name, put it in a bag, shake it up, one person draws from it, says the name and must share what they like most about that person, or, what they would like that person to help them with. This builds confidence as there shouldn’t be any negative comments, let’s build on the positive and the positive will continue to grow!
18. While you’re driving in the car, talk with your child, turn the music off, have a conversation with them, ask their favorite movie, their favorite food, their favorite book, etc. get involved in a heart to heart conversation, they’ll remember these and look forward to more.
19. While an adult’s tasks are much different than a child’s, still let them see what you’re doing, let them ask questions, and you can ask if they’d like to help with it.
20. I’d suggest that you take a moment to write down how you can involve your children, nobody knows your child better than you.
I do BELIEVE that when you just TELL a child something, they may forget it. I do BELIEVE that when you teach a child something, they will remember, and I do BELIEVE that when you involve a child, they learn.
Characters of Character is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “To provide a firm foundation for children to establish strong civic values.”