I often get asked what is the best advice I can give to new parents. Having three kids I consider myself someone of a veteran at parenting, although admittedly far from perfect. But I have been through a lot with my boys, from babies to grade schoolers, so have some wisdom that I believe is helpful.
What is the one tip I give anyone who is embarking on the crazy path of parenthood?
Tell your kids you love them of everyday and schedule one or two times during the day that are just for you and them.
Believe it or not, even when you’re a SAHM (or maybe especially when you are) it’s very difficult to have quality time with your children. I’m talking about time that you aren’t distracted by a thousand other things that need to happen in your life and are just focused on them.
Find time in your day that is just for you and the kids, for me this came about pretty organically. The first year or two of my first born’s life, I felt like I was just haphazardly getting through the day and not having any real quality time with him. Finally as he got older I started bed time stories. This takes time as when they’re babies they aren’t going to sit with you and read a book. But once they do it’s such a lovely experience to share with them. I also find that we have some good talks after reading for a bit. We lie in bed and they tell me about their day or maybe go on and on about some new game they’re into (Minecraft anyone??). Night is a good time to do this as I find I’m more relaxed, the day is through and it’s easier to concentrate on whatever it is they want to talk about.
The second time I schedule with my kids, although not always successful depending on how the morning goes, is breakfast. It’s a great way to start off our day. Since the craziness of the day hasn’t quite begun we are able to enjoy some time and conversation together, and often have a few laughs.
What’s your best parenting advice? And what time do you enjoy most with your kids?
These breaks sneak up on me every Winter and Spring, leaving me with not much planned for the whole 7 days the kiddos are home from school. This time, although it did sneak up on me again, I’m determined to have some things planned so we’re not left twiddling our thumbs and irritated with one another by the end of next week . Here are 3 ideas I’ve come up with so far. Please share any ideas you have with me in the comments section, I’d love to hear them.
- Make a kids style boot camp. My boys love everything to do with the military and are really getting into exercise, so this is a fun and healthy way to occupy their time and get them active. Girls enjoy this exercise too and I find it makes them feel empowered and tough. You can prepare for this active and healthy routine by getting a clip board and writing down the exercises with check boxes next to each for when they are complete. Try making one child in charge for each set and call them the “Sargeant”. Once they’ve completed the workout award them with some homemade badges that you prepped before hand.
Sample boot camp for kids. Make sure you are carefully demonstrating each exercise and watching their form so they don’t hurt themselves. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just watch for any over exaggerated positioning or aggressive movements that might lead to injury.
- Run in place for 30 seconds
- 10 Jumping Jacks.
- 5-10 Push ups on knees.
- 10 squats.
- 10 side lunges.
- Run up and down the stairs 2 times.
2. Make a fun obstacle course.
Get your kids involved in the process of making it, children tend to really like helping with this and it gets the creative juices flowing creative.
Some ideas for your obstacle course.
- Supplies: Dining room chairs, string and notecards with numbers on them. Loop the string through the chairs attaching the numbers onto the string with clothes pins. Have them step through the string and grab their assigned number. For and added challenge make them try to not touch the string in the process.
- Using throw pillows, toss them around the room and have them jump from one to the other. For an added challenge tape letters on the pillows in no particular order and have them jump in alphabetical order.
3. Make some healthy cookies! (my personal favorite)
I love baking with my kids and baking something healthy is a great way to not only teach them their way around a kitchen, but also to talk about the importance of eating healthy. As you make this healthy recipe talk about the ingredients and why they are good for them. Talk about the purpose of eating as being a way to fuel their bodies. This will help get them thinking about eating a different way, not just for taste but for energy and wellness.
Example of a healthy recipe: Carrot and Apple Oat Cookies from Super Healthy Kids.
- 2 cup – flour, whole wheat
- 1 cup – oats, dry
- 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon – baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon – cinnamon
- 1 large – egg
- 1/3 cup – coconut oil
- 1/4 cup – honey
- 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated – carrot
- 1 cup, grated – apple
- 1 medium – banana
- 1/3 cup – chocolate chips, semisweet
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with grease-proof paper.
- In a large bowl mix together the whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
- In a separate smaller bowl beat the egg. Add the melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract and stir well. Add this mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Add the grated carrot, grated apple and mashed banana and again stir until everything is well mixed together. If using the chocolate chips, add now.
- Roll the cookie dough into 1 inch sized balls. The dough should make approximately 20 balls. Place each on the cookie sheet and press down lightly with a fork.
- Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Please send me any ideas you have for the time I have with my kids next week! WOuld love some more options!
Thanks for reading!