A date with your daughter
It is so important to spend time with your kids in a way where you both feel equal. In the relationship between parent and child there are so many ways the child is looking for approval, nurturing and praise.
The parent also looks to the child for innocence, energy and a glimpse into the child they once were. These are great and appropriate for the parent and the child. I think that we (as parents) also need to spend time on a level playing field with out kids. Get down on the floor and roll play dough between your fingers like they do. Open up the coloring book and get out the crayons and markers for some fun art.
Instead of sitting on the bench at the park, climb the monkey bars and swing in the swings. Nothing makes you feel younger than spending some time playing at the playground. You may be sore the next day, but it will be worth it.
Add to that a date night with your child. I think it is important for fathers (or other male role models) to take daughters on dates and mothers (or other female role models) to take sons on dates. This should be an age appropriate version of a grown up date.
Some ideas are:
- mini golf and a burger joint,
- Skating rink and ice cream,
- an art show and a long drive through the country.
Spending time together on a level playing field is an amazing nurturing experience for both of you. Sometimes a child feels so much pressure to follow all the rules and stay out of the way of adults that they don’t get a chance to see who you really are. And beyond the discipline and education, it is vital that we teach out kids how important it is to love who they are.
The best way to give them this lesson is to:
First: Be who you are in front of them and be comfortable doing it.
Second: Allow them to be themselves in front of you and show them how much you love their authenticity.
I remember when my older boys were at the gym playing basketball while I was doing my workout upstairs. I watched them shooting hoops for a few minutes and they asked if it was time to leave. I said, let’s play some HORSE first. They kinda laughed and said, ah, sure mom. So we each took our turns and played a round. We really had a good time and I think after they got over the surprise that their short mom could shoot a basket, they realized that being a mom doesn’t mean I am not competitive or fun or any other stereotypes kids have about “old folks”.
I am not saying be best friends with your kids. But I think a good parent can be their kids friend and parent. As long as the kid and parent both know the boundaries and expectations.
Buy your daughter some flowers or some jewelry for no reason.
I love this suggestion because my dad rarely did this for my mom and I think that may be why I feel uncomfortable and unsure when my husband buys me a gift for no reason. My dad is a wonderful father and was a great husband to my mom. He was just not one to buy gifts very often. I do remember every once in a while he would drive me to his favorite burger place and we would each get a burger, fries and Coke and spend time together. That meant a lot to me. I also remember as an adult my dad buying me earrings once. I wish he would have done a few more things like that for me. Again, I am not complaining, my dad rocks, but I do want my kids to have it even better than I did.
Whether you have great memories of your relationship with your own parents or not, I am sure you want to create better memories for your children about your relationship with them. Try some of these suggestions or some of your own ideas. I assure you that the experience will be beneficial beyond explanation.
Please comment below with your experiences or ideas to share with others. This is such a simple habit to start with a huge return on investment. Remember, we teach our kids how to treat others and how they should expect to be treated. Lead by example.Missy Martin, Holistic Health Coach and Founder of My Momentum Fitness, LLC