Parents get lots of advice on how to bond with their children, but sometimes the bonding advice (like brushing your daughter's hair) just falls into the category of daily life. Here are five ways you can easily make parent child bonding exciting, unique and memorable.
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I know what you are thinking - why not just go camping for real? Well you can, but living room camping is a totally different experience. You don't have to worry about bad weather or forgetting food. You don't even have to set up a real tent.
You and your children can create a tent using couch cushions, sheets and chairs. Favorite stuffed animals can be brought inside the tent without getting dirty. No need to ward off mosquitoes and forget about smelling like campfire. Surprise your child with this worry-free activity, and spend the night working together to build your campsite. Inside the tent, play games, build with Legos and tell silly stories before falling asleep.
If you'd rather leave sleeping on the floor to your kids, just move to your cozy bed upstairs once they fall asleep.
You don't have to sit down and write a story all at once, and you don't even need to write it down if you don't want to. Grab a notebook, some old magazines and just start creating. Let your child guide the course of the story and have them pick out pictures from the magazines for you to cut out and paste into the notebook. Jot down a few words about the storyline to help jog your memory. Writing your story a little every day will give you and your child something to look forward to.
Grab one of your children and have a date night. You could go out to dinner and a show, or take this time to teach them a life lesson, just one-on-one: Give your child their age in dollars (for younger children you might double this until they reach the age of 10). They can do whatever they want with that money, and even save it if they want to, but there is one rule...If your child wants to buy ice cream, they need to buy you some, too. Same rule applies if they want to see a movie - they need to buy both tickets. This not only teaches them money management, but also how to be polite on a date.
Use a long white sheet as your screen, tack it up on a fence and turn on the projector when it gets dark outside. You and your kids can enjoy a movie in the great outdoors with easy access to a bathroom, kitchen (and bed if needed). Upgrade the classic movie night to be an adventurous movie in the backyard with your child.
Just give up on manners for one meal, and eat over the kitchen sink. This activity will bring lots of laughs (and only a little mess). Don't forget that the mess is the fun part, so grab some food that will dribble down your face, get your hands messy and doesn't really need utensils. It is a great way to bond with young children and teenagers.
Don't be afraid to make these activities a family tradition - and add more ways you can bond with your children. These are the things that will be remembered for years to come.
Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.