Having kids is great, isn’t it? If you are new to parenthood my advice is to enjoy every minute of babyhood because entertaining a baby is super- easy and fun. Babies fall asleep and relax. They don’t insist you take them to the park, they don’t demand you push them on the swings or whirl them on the roundabout.
Once they start growing and going to nursery, primary school and senior school you will find that your bundle-of-joy is a bundle-of-joy with its own opinions. They will tell you that your choice of entertainment for them is too childish, too boring, not cool and that their friends have far more fun. If you want some guidance, here are my tips:
1. Don’t let the kids watch television on weekdays. I let my little darlings watch television at weekends. We count Friday evening as the start of the weekend, and we have a pizza and movie night. With the coronavirus lockdown in place, I am allowing access to playing Xbox games during the week, but only after doing their studies and playing in the garden.
2. In non-lockdown times I take the kids ‘bouldering’. For those not in the know, this is a form of climbing on a small rock formation or an artificial wall. This provides great family time and we each get a full-body workout. It also improves balance and flexibility.
3. Take them cycling. This usually ends up with me carrying extra loads or pushing one of the kids’ bikes, so if we are going local, I take my bike; but if we are going somewhere that takes more than one hour they ride their bikes and I walk.
4. I used to bake and cook with my kids, but I have given up. They have become back – seat drivers telling me how to do it. So now I give them instructions on preparing basic stuff and let them get on with it. They use the microwave and the oven. Pizza, jacket potatoes. That sort of stuff.
5. And finally, leave them alone for a little while. I struggled with this, but the lockdown pushed me to deal with it. They reach an age where you can leave them for a while. And they enjoy the responsibility. The right age will vary for each child and individual circumstances, but it helps them to mature. Be brave, be responsible and stay relaxed.