Say what? Why is having fun important? Besides providing meals, clothing, shelter, and education plus taking our kids to the dentist, doctor, and school, we should also have fun? Yes!
This post is inspired by our activities over the weekend and my subsequent thoughts. I’m being a little silly because of course, you know that having fun with your children is important. But let’s also be realistic–a lot of parenting is not fun. Even the things kids think are fun, like children’s museums, playgrounds, cartoons, are not fun for the parents–not really anyway. 🙂 You probably wouldn’t choose to go to the pumpkin patch with face painting and bouncy houses if it weren’t for your kids. That’s all I’m saying.
But on Saturday and more and more, Katie and I are finding activities that we both enjoy, that we both have fun with, and that we are doing together.
I was thinking about how much parents adore and treasure those little newborn babies up until they can walk and talk and have to be entertained. Then there are a lot of parenting challenges to face every day–potty training, tantrums, 3 meals a day, bath, fights over bedtime, etc. But at 6, I feel Katie is the most fun ever because now she can participate in activities that I actually enjoy, and we can do them together. Over the weekend, we played…B-I-N-G-O.
We were at a small festival for our community, and one of the activities was Bingo. I might not have encouraged her to play if it wouldn’t have been so hot outside; but because it was, and I wanted a break from the heat, we wandered into the school and found ourselves in a Bingo game with prizes–food prizes, like popcorn, candy, potato chips, cake mixes, and more. What fun! We laughed; Katie almost cried until she won a game; we smiled; we got excited; we made jokes. We enjoyed ourselves–both of us.
This has happened a few other times this summer, where we were both engaged in what we were doing, and it wasn’t just me the parent watching her the kid doing something.
I encourage you, especially if you are a parent of an elementary school -aged kid or above, to find those activities for your family right now, too. Maybe it’s a mutual game you like to play. Maybe it’s a painting class. Maybe it’s a show on television (we also love to watch Masterchef).
And I know it doesn’t seem possible to love your child any more than you did when he or she first was born. But I swear, I love her more and more every day. I just love her little personality, the way she looks at the world, her hopes and dreams, her creativity, and it makes me excited as a parent, which is what gets us through all the times when we are wondering how we will ever manage to do this parenting gig.
What activities do you enjoy doing with your child?