Holidays are such an interesting time. On the one hand it feels like I have all the time in the world to spend with my kids. On the other hand, I can go a week or two feeling completely out of control, like all I have done is clean up mess, yell at my kids, broken up fights and eaten way too much chocolate while hiding in the cupboard.
As a parent I get really torn between wanting to be the fun person and my child’s friend, and needing to be their parent, which is often not the fun person. My experience of kids is they can be like demanding wild animals that need to be tamed haha. I sometimes feel like they can be naturally selfish; they work out the good stuff (e.g. TV and treats) and then go after that first. This means I spend most of my time setting boundaries, and then reinforcing those boundaries, and breaking up sibling arguments.
I honestly feel like it is sometimes 90% parenting and only 10% fun. I really struggle with this idea of mostly not being the fun person, however all of the research and reading I have done around this idea keeps reinforcing to me that I am on the right track. Deep down I know the best thing I can do for my kids is be their parent not their friend. Luckily for our kids they have lots of grandparents who are happy to be the fun people!
By being their parent, I mean intentionally teaching them how to resolve conflict, how to lose, how to make good food choices, how to play outside and deal with their boredom, how to do things when you don’t want to, how to work hard to achieve a goal even when you can’t be bothered anymore, how to have initiative and do things without having to be asked and the list goes on.
I find this kind of parenting hard work as it feels like I am hitting my head against a wall most of the time, however I know one day it will pay off and my kids will look back and be grateful … or at least that is what I am telling myself.
One way I have learnt to deal with this, is making sure we have moments within our day, or our week, that are dedicated to fun. These moments are purely about connecting and having a good time together as a family.
I have come to realise that those little moments are as important as all the other the parenting moments, and they all work together to help our family connect, and feel like we are a team in this thing called life.
I have written a post about how we have fun and connect as a family here …
We have teamed up with Bupa to write this post as they are big believers that your family is your team, and taking as little as 10 minutes to connect with your kids can be all you need to create life long memories and connection. They have set up a great website and resource for families to inspire us all with ways we can take 10 and connect with our kids. You can check that out here …
I thought it was a nice idea to ask on the School Mum Facebook page for some ideas and stories of how families spend quality time together when life gets busy as a bit of inspiration for us all. I loved some of these ideas so thought I would share a few below …
“Every Friday night is Family Night. We order takeaway, all curl up in our bed and watch Better Homes & Gardens (7yr old’s favourite show!)”
“We have 3 teenagers, the eldest, 19yrs, is doing an apprenticeship & his work hours are 3pm – 11pm week nights. We try, as much as possible, to have a Sunday Night family dinner. It is important that our kids are there, extras are also more than welcome. It is the one night we get together so it is a bit cherished by all.”
“We have kitchen dance parties – turn up the tunes (we’ve been collecting kid friendly dance songs in a playlist for years) and dance around like idiots. We’ve been doing it since Mr 7 was old enough to stand on his own 2 feet.”
“I dedicate time, even if it is just 30 minutes, at night after dinner baths and dishes are all done. This way there is always family time, and down time for me after a hectic day.”
“Our family bonds over our love of Sci-fi, comics, and pretty much all things ‘geeky’ lol. We love our Cos-play and plan as a family… Each year to Supanova we take turns of picking a theme – so when we aren’t watching awesome movies together, reading, playing and what not we spend our time talking about our costumes.”
“We have Friday family game night we all play board games together ”
“We all build Lego together”
“The beach it is where we do forget about everything and enjoy the moment”
“We play board games and go for family bike rides”
These are just a few of the ideas people shared on the Facebook page about how they take the time to connect with their family. We would love to hear below how you connect with your kids and family too …