Being involved in your kids life is critical to their physical, emotional, and social development as well as their general well-being. When parents are involved with their children and in their children's lives, those children tend to perform better academically, show fewer behavioral issues, generally have a more positive attitude and are overall more successful in life. But, as kids start getting older they want more and more space between themselves and their parents. Here are a few things to know about getting your kids to participate in family fun activities.
Communicating is The Most Important Activity
According to one longitudinal study, elementary students who performed at a high level academically showed a correlation with having parents who communicate with their children regularly. Communicating with your children is one of the best things you can do to stay involved in their life, and what's more, it is totally free! Spend a minimum of 15 minutes every single day talking with and listening to your children, and working hard to give them open, honest answers to their questions. It can be difficult to get kids to open up, particularly teens, so start by inquiring about something important in their lives.
Take Advantage of Small Opportunities
How many times has your child come up to you during the summer months to complain about their boredom. Too many, right? Well, if you are trying to get more involved with your kids' lives, these may be a great opportunity for leisure activities. Rather than staying glued to the TV, have your children turn it off and play a board or yard game. Even watching television together can be a bonding experience if the family discusses what they have watched afterwards.
Give Them the Choice
A great way to get buy-in from kids when going on family outings is to give them some choice in activity. Perhaps your family will decide to alternate weeks letting a different person choose the activity. Giving kids choice is a great way to increase their emotional investment in the activity. Even letting your child choose between three or four options for the family activity is a great way to give them choice, without worrying about whether their choice of family fun is going to break the bank.
Let Them Bring a Friend
As a child starts to get into their preteen years, their parents become less important to them, and their friends become more important. You can increase the chances your child will want to go on your family outing by allowing him or her to invite a friend. This has a couple of unexpected benefits. For one, your child will be much more talkative with his friend than with his parents, so you may get more details out of him about his life at school, simply by overhearing your child and their friend talking in the backseat. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to vet your child's friend and make sure they are a healthy and wholesome influence on your child. How To Get Your Kids On Board With Family Fun