Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Organize Regular ‘Dates’ with your kids & Discover what Makes them Tick

Organize Regular ‘Dates’ with your kids & Discover what Makes them Tick

by Claire McFee Author of Organize Your Life

It’s a novel concept to schedule dates with our kids, but one that can not only have immeasurable rewards for all concerned, but in today's fast paced society is increasingly needed to ensure quality time together. Time set aside with your children one-on-one is worth its weight in gold. You will create truly valuable experiences you will have getting to know your child, with lots of special memories to recount over the years and lots of stories to jot down for future reference. It’s more than worth the effort. Read on, then find the time and you will see what I mean.

We all have individual Passions that as children we are closely connected to, but as the years go by we get absorbed in school, study, friends, family, etc, and often lose sight of these things over time. Parents can help guide their children a lot in this area, by making sure they stay connected to each other and what we love doing as they grow up.

This us where scheduling time together or ‘dates’ comes in. Your child should get to decide what they want to do. Within reason of course! You might be surprised by what they want to do. Kids often just want you to play Lego with them, go for a bike ride, go eeling, visit the play ground, climb the local lookout, teach them a new skill i.e. how to cook etc.

Your child may need some help with ideas initially about what to do together, so get your child to compile a List of things that they would most like to do, so when it is their turn they can look over the list and choose something suitable. Be sure you allocate enough time so you are not rushed. Remember kids love time to just ‘be’ with their parents. Just be in the ‘moment’ with them whatever it is they want to do. Really listen to them and get to know them better.

Some questions you could put to your child to generate discussion;-“I’ve noticed you are really taking an interest in …..“What do you like about……“What do you think when you see someone doing that……“Do you connect with the people here or is it the activity that you like best…………“How do you see your future if this became your No1 passion………“Does this in any way link in with your interest in …..

Separately take note of your child’s interests as they tell you about them and what you observe. This will give your child the opportunity to look back over their desires over the years, so they ‘re-connect’ with their passion quickly if they lose sight somewhere along the way. This can also assist your child in their teens when deciding on subjects to suit their career path. It can be as simple as observing them and staying interested in what they are currently into – be it books, activities, TV, Super Hero’s, Documentaries, etc.

If you already spend a lot of family time together that is great, but there is a difference between this and separate ‘Date’ time – especially if you normally choose what you do. When the tables are turned it really empowers your child with decision making practice and feeling in ‘control.’ They will be less likely to rebel if they feel like they have a say, which I’m sure you’ll agree makes for a much happier household!

A good time-frame for your Date is once a month. Mum and Dad can take turns having time with the kids, without anyone else around. Set a time, put it in your diary and your child can plan the details. You can build anticipation and they will love the thrill of planning this special time together.

If you need to cancel your Date, make sure it is only ever for a really good reason or trust will be broken. If someone asks you do to something that clashes with your ‘date’ tell your child about it, and that you said “No, sorry I can’t because I have a date with the most handsome 8 year old in the world.” It will do wonders for their self esteem.

Have your child keep a Record of what you do together and when. They can draw pictures, add photos, write about what you both did and have it as a record of the love and time you share together.

Some Activities you may like to try are: Bike riding, Time zone 2-player-games, a gem show, couta boat display, cooking, board games, fishing, roller blading, skateboarding, swimming, walk at beach, getting a hot chocolate to savour together, going to a dog shelter or gardening.

Unexpected Conversations also often arise when you have uninterrupted ‘quality’ time with a loved one. This is especially the case for quieter children who take a while to ‘warm up’. My husband and I enjoy the occasional ‘sleepover’ with our children (9&6 yrs old). Emma and I have a ‘girls’ night as do Matty and Neil. We can hear each other across the hall talking about their respective interests – for Matty it’s Footy, Footy, Footy and for Emma it’s what’s going on with her friends. Since we started doing this I have discovered a lot more about Emma, and know that the kids really treasure this special time with us.

Lastly, ask your kids “If you could do anything knew you could not fail, what would it be?” The answers will vary enormously from year to year, but will give you invaluable insight into what really makes them tick. We all ultimately want our children to have a career that doesn’t feel like ‘work’, due to really loving what they do. They need to know that it’s possible and that their passion does not have to be just a hobby. After all “We should work to live, not live to work.”

To be connected with what you love is a fabulous feeling. Helping your child to think creatively about their passions with quality one-on-one time, can help inspire them to do better at what they put their hand to.

About Claire McFee

Claire is author of the Original Organize Your Life Organizer and co-Creator of the new Interactive Organize Your Life e-Organizers. Claire started helping people get more out of life by being better organized and improving their Mindset in 1999. Claire is also a Speaker and has been extensively showcased on TV and other mediums.
Check out her Blog HERE

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Theody on Tue Nov 24, 12:18:00 PM 2009 said...

I really learn't a lot from this post.thanks for sharing.

Naomi de la Torre on Tue Nov 24, 06:41:00 PM 2009 said...

Nice post! Very important to spend quality time with our children. It is everything to them. And us too.

Naomi from organicmotherhoodwithcoolwhip.com


Organize Regular ‘Dates’ with your kids & Discover what Makes them Tick

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