Parenting is a full-time job that doesn’t always offer a lot of downtimes. When you do finally get a chance to relax, it’s important to know how to enjoy kids. This can be difficult if you don’t have any experience with children. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips for parents! With these helpful hints, you’ll be able to enjoy your time with your little ones and create lasting memories.
I read a fantastic article the other day on the importance of parents letting go of this imaginary number of kids that they always thought they’d have. It really hit home, although I’m still processing it. My kids turn six tomorrow, and I’m never going to have five-year-olds ever again. That’s huge!
At the end of certain phases of parenthood we all celebrate with a sigh of relief and a high five – heck sometimes we’ll even bust out the bubbly. At the end of 3 AM feedings, diapers, full-time daycare fees, and colic were met with triumphant cheers. I am happy to see the tail end of all of those things. But then there are the other things that I am not ready to see come to an end – cuddles during storytime, hand-holding when we cross the street, or when I discover that my bed is filled with Lego (as much as I bemoan it). I’m certain parents of only children and those watching their youngest grow up feeling the exact same way.
Benefits When Parents Enjoy Kids
When parents take the time to enjoy kids, both parties benefit. According to a study by the University of Cambridge, children who are regularly enjoyed by their parents are more likely to have better mental health outcomes as adults. Enjoying kids can also help strengthen the parent-child bond and create lasting memories.
There are many different ways for parents to enjoy kids. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Effective Tips to Enjoy Kids
Get Down on Their Level
When you’re talking to your child, get down on their level. This will help them feel comfortable and make it easier for them to understand you.
Don’t be afraid to act silly around your children! They’ll love seeing you let loose and have fun.
Put Down The Phone for Them To Enjoy Kids
In a recent survey on technology, “More than a third of 11 to 18-year-olds who responded said they had asked their parents to stop checking their devices.” Consider leaving your phone to charge during prime evening and weekend hours while you’re spending time with them or simply make a point of putting down the phone to talk to them when they approach you to get some attention.
Don’t Only See The World Through A Camera Lens
Getting quality photos of your children is a fantastic way to capture memories; just remember to find a balance between getting a perfect picture and ruining something remarkable with constant photos.
Watch Them While They Sleep
To non-parents, this might sound a little creepy. But I doubt I’ll ever be able to get enough of watching my cute little cherubs sleep.
Save Their Cards
Artwork grows like weeds in our house. No parent can possibly save every creation their child produces, however, know what’s worth saving to reflect on later. Christmas cards, birthday cards, and Mother or Father’s Day cards with heartfelt messages from your children are something you can cherish regularly.
Let Them Climb Into Bed With You
While no one gets as good a night’s rest when there is a child starfishing in the center of the bed, allowing them into your bed for a nightmare or when they aren’t feeling well is a simple way to enjoy them.
Take Some Videos & Watch Them Together
Videos of my children practicing a song for a spring concert at school, or collecting shells along the ocean have become important memories that we all like to watch together. Just remember to back up your phone and save the best videos in multiple places, just in case.
Pay Extra Close Attention to Enjoy Kids
When they are practicing something they love: whether it’s a musical instrument or simply playing with a favorite toy.
Related post: How To Be A Playful Parent?
Tell Them About Your Childhood
My kids love hearing stories about me at their age. Sometimes they’ll request that we do something that I share, in a story together, and I always try to make it happen for them too.
Book Some “Dates” With Your Children
One-on-one time or even dedicated adult/kid time makes for important memories. Just this past weekend the grown-ups took our son to see a band he likes while my daughter enjoyed her first-ever solo sleepover with her aunt and uncle.
Make More Rituals Together to Enjoy Kids
Kids will remember things that happen often, whether it’s an annual camping trip or ice cream on the last day of school. Try to make these things happen. It can be as simple as Sunday night movie night!
Kids can be frustrating at times, but it’s important to remain patient. They’re still learning and growing, so cut them some slack.
Get Outside to Enjoy Kids
Enjoy the fresh air and go for a walk or play some backyard games. The outdoors is great for both your physical and mental health.
Curl up with a good book and read it aloud to your child. They’ll love hearing your voice and spending time with you.
Cooking is a great way to teach your children about healthy eating and where food comes from. Plus, it’s fun to make a mess in the kitchen!
Build Something to Enjoy Kids
Have a Dance Party
Turn up the music and let loose! Dance around the living room or sing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs.
Make Art to Enjoy Kids
Get creative with some finger painting or watercolors. It’s a great way to express yourself and you’ll end up with a beautiful piece of art.
Hide some small toys or treats around the house and make a treasure map. Your child will love searching for the prize!
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time with your children. They grow up so fast, so make sure to savor every moment. Enjoying your kids is one of the best parts of being a parent!
Do you have any other tips on how to enjoy kids? Share them in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this post with your fellow parents. Parenting is hard work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Enjoy every minute of it!
Sara is a freelance writer, award winning parenting blogger, and public relations specialist from Toronto, Canada. She is mother to fraternal girl/boy twins, loves music, hiking, and offbeat pop culture.