Raising a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It can also be one of the most challenging. While there are no guarantees, integrating these four activities into your daily routine with your child can help create a strong foundation that will support them as they grow.
Talk about your day
As any parent knows, communication is key to keeping a close relationship with your child. Talking about their day is a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in their life, and it also helps to foster a bond of trust and openness. Learning about the challenges and successes they experience on a daily basis can help you better understand your child and offer them the support they need to thrive. Moreover, simply taking the time to listen to your child can mean the world to them. Don’t make every conversation a lecture or a sermon — sometimes, you just have to listen and support them. Make sure to remember details, and avoid trivializing them in your mind. To your child, everything they’re talking about is important. So next time you’re looking for a way to connect with your child, ask them about their day. You may be surprised at just how much you learn.
Play a sport or video games together
There are plenty of ways to get active together as a family. Outdoor sports like soccer, basketball, or Frisbee are fun ways to get some exercise and spend time together. Sports improve motor skills such as balance, coordination, agility, and footwork. If it’s too cold or wet to go outside, you can stay indoors and solve some brain teasers. Playing games like chess and Scrabble have been proven to make children smarter. Apart from that, you can play video games together. While most parents do not like playing video games or letting their children play them, there have been several studies that prove that children can derive various benefits from video games, such as critical thinking and hand-eye coordination. To add to that, it’s an opportunity for your child to have a lot of fun and for you to supervise their content consumption. You can also get to know your child better by watching how they behave while they are having fun or when they are losing, and video games provide a lot of teachable moments.
Help them with their homework
One of the best things you can do for your kids is to help them with their homework. This allows you to spend quality time together, and it shows them that they can rely on you. It also teaches them responsibility and good study habits. Just be sure not to take over or do the work for them; let them struggle a bit and figure things out on their own. It’s important for them to learn perseverance and creative problem-solving. If they get stuck, offer some gentle guidance and support. Preschool children in particular need constant guidance when doing homework since they do not have a lot of knowledge yet. You can guide them by asking them questions that make them think, and you can support them by offering them encouragement and letting them know if they are getting closer. At best, show them how to do something, but do not do the task for them. For example, they are solving a multiplication problem — solve a similar equation and explain how you solved it, but do not solve the same equation they are trying to solve. No matter what, resist the urge to take over. Doing so will teach them passivity and that it’s okay to give up on challenges. You might be surprised at how much they can accomplish when they put their minds to it.
Cook or bake something together
One great activity to do together is cook or bake something. This is a great way to spend some quality time together while also getting practical, as you’ll get to enjoy some delicious food that you made together. You can easily integrate this into your schedule by making your child part of meal preparation. It can be anything from an appetizer, to cookies, to a full-fledged dessert like a cake. You can even make ice cream easily at home with an ice cream making kit. Ask what they’ll like for your next meal — kids put in the most effort and gain the most knowledge when doing things they are interested in. And who knows, maybe you’ll even discover a new favorite recipe together.
There are many different things that you can do together with your child in order to help them grow and learn. Each of these activities provides an opportunity for you to spend quality time with them while also helping them develop new skills. Letting your child know they are doing a good job goes a long way in boosting their confidence and making learning more enjoyable. Start doing these today, and be the best parent you can be.