February is National Heart Month and do you know what is best for your heart and the heart of your family? FUN! Fun is the heart of the family! Fun adds energy, laughter, smiles, joy, relaxation, conversation and an excitement to be a part of the family. If you’re not having fun, it causes tension, stress, anger, mood swings, disappointment, and teaches your children that family and home is not a good place to be. It’s very easy to add just a little fun into the day, even a really busy, stressful day. Here are some tips.
Don’t Over-Schedule. I have seen way too many parents over-schedule their kids. A lot of the ‘fun’ I talk about, should come from within the family unit, not outside sources. Although, outside activities are important, over-scheduling your kids, not only causes stress for them, but stress for you by having to arrange to get them to all their numerous activities. Then what about their schooling and studies? Is that falling on the back burner, because of lack of time or are you making that a priority for them. An educated child, is a wiser, empowered, happier child, who is accepting and encouraging to others and to themselves as they grow and find success in life. Your kids will have a difficult time focussing on any single activity if they are over-scheduled and over-stimulated. Rest, relaxation and the lack of chaos, is as important for you, as it is for your kids.
What to do about Dinner? You come home from a long day at work, you’re tired, you’re kids are happy to see you and jumping around, and dinner needs to be put on the table. What to do? How do you add in fun when you’re about to pull out your hair? Ask your kids to play a board game or read a book, while you go and change or chill for about 10 minutes from your day. Then make meal planning and cooking a family activity. If the meal is not planned, let your kids chime in and choose their protein, grains and vegetables for dinner. They will eat more if they are involved in planning and making the meal. …and it’s FUN! Fun for them and takes some of the stress off of you. Then, eat together at the table, not in front of the TV. This encourages conversation, improves digestion, allows you to eat less since you’re talking to each other and fill up faster.
After Dinner. Dinner is done, and this meal has energized yourself and your family, so go take a family walk around the block. Offers great family time and talk, burns calories and offers a little time and relaxation together. Note: if you want to take a cell phone for safety, don’t answer it, unless there is an emergency. Keep this time just for your kids.
Silly Time: Let your kids be goofy and silly and playful. With you, with their siblings, with themselves. Mirrors are great, rolling on the floor is great, making silly faces, uncontrollable laughter and more. You are never too old to be a kid and your kids are definitely not too old to have fun and just be childish. Promote it and take the time to be childish with them, it’s a great way to relax.
Other fun family ideas: Play ball or tag outside; go to a park; go to a Museum; join a family class where everyone participates together; start a puzzle at home; do crafts at home; find a bunch of things in the house that you can recycle by turning it into something fun (i.e. 2 toilet paper inside rolls, taped together, add string, color and decorate and you have a great pair of binoculars to go hiking and exploring with). You had your kids to add spice to your life and grow your family tree. Don’t stunt that growth by letting the stresses of the day get in the way. Laugh with your kids, smile, be polite and encouraging and enjoy them. They’re only young once and don’t you want them to say, “I want to be just like my Mom & Dad when I grow up!”? Think about it, and if you don’t want them to say that, it may be time to make a few changes in your life. Relax & HAVE FUN!!! Peace, Love, Laughter!