Friday, March 19, 2010

Shame on you, lazy parents - Activate you kids!

Short while ago I was speaking with a colleague who was going to baby-sit 6 year old twin boys. She told me that the kids were pretty wild ones and that of course alerted my active parent / coach-attitude.

I think wild kids are normal kids and the problem is not their energy, they need to be offered proper ways to channel the energy! All kids have both physical and mental energy bank that needs to be emptied regularly - and if you don't do it properly it will be directed to what parents consider "bad behaviour".
Give the kids proper stimulations and keep them active - physically!
The colleague of mine has got a 9 years old son herself so she is somewhat familiar with what boys are interested in. Naturally they will play X-Box, PlayStation or what have you if you give them a chance.

But also they are likely to enjoy outdoor activities and games if you just offer the option and encourage it. Don't be lazy - take the effort and join the game, you might enjoy it yourself too!

What can you do with such "wild" boys then?
Yep, I heard they only wanna play the consol games but so what...

From top of my head I suggested few things that I'd even like to do myself;
Take advantage of the winter, take a sleigh with you and hit a nearby hill. It doesn't need to be a big one, just a hill. Running up the hill for an hour, playing in the snow and having a snow ball fight I can tell you a cup of hot chocolate tastes fantastic!
Football is always fun, but you can also go for a walk in the woods - or if it is winter a walk in the neighbourhood is good too. You can set as a target the hot chocolate pit-stop at a cafe far enough - and then you can walk back another route. Take a camera with you and let the kids take pics of what they are interested (or funny looking trees, leaves, cool cars, clouds, houses or what ever...). Nowadays taking pics with digital camera doesn't cost a cent.

Afterwards, you can play cards. A simple game you can play is called "7" - it is played with regular deck and is similar to UNO. Then there are plenty of board games from traditional Monopoly to various different ones. And you should not forget Yatzy, the dice game.
When was the last time you read a book to the kids? Let them choose one and read it regularly - together.

After the colleague's baby-sitting I asked her what did they do. The answer was a dissapointment:
They were playing the damn Playstation...

Please take the effort and be active, stimulate you kids - and don't forget the books!
PS I saved an article from a local paper some tips for a car trip. I will try to share it with you, even if it is in Finnish...

I was thrilled to see we have been using some of them. This year again we went to the ski trip with a car, just like we've done since they were small - and we have always managed without GameBoys or DVD's. Surely they make the trip smoother, but also more boring.

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