Sunday, March 27, 2011

Raising Kids On Purpose for the Fun of It!

While you're reading, I've included some pictures from the fun "tea party" that my daughter and I had. She did our make-up and hair and she was quite thrilled--and giggly-- about the whole thing! 

It's actually the title of a book I've just started reading this week. The whole title of the book is:"Raising Kids On Purpose for the Fun of It- Hundreds of Ideas for Family Fn and Recreation and the Teaching of Christian Values" by Gwen Weising.  I've been inspired to really enjoy these years with my kids through having fun together. I do get to spend a lot more time than some moms do with their kids. I homeschool our 3 children but still a lot of the time is not "fun" time. The days are filled with school, chores, play, cooking, ya know, just normal daily living stuff. Lately, I've really been thinking about quality time with the kids though. When they become adults I want to feel like I spent as much fun time with them as I could!

This book suggests to get with your kids and your husband and write down a list of things you need and things you want. Also gather ideas about things the family could do while they still live at home if money was not an option. This does not mean we will spoil our children and do every little thing they desire but it does mean we can start with small goals and work at accomplishing these goals as a family. For example, if we felt like we needed to spend more quality time together, we shouldn't just say our goal is: "To spend more family time together this year".  We might even write it on the calendar and schedule in days that are special family times. It would be more like this: "Our goal is: Everyday spend 10-30 minutes talking with each child about good things we see in them or their choices". Define just how you could accomplish your goal and by the end of the week/month/year you can look back and measure how successful your goal was, instead of saying "I think we spent more time together".

I'm super excited to sit down with our family and discuss these things. This week I asked some friends what they think was the best things they've done as a family. The reason I asked was to gather more ideas for our family, just in case we left something out! I wanted to see if any of them might be something we would want to do before our kids are grown and leave home.

I've started a journal of sorts for this purpose. There are simple, kind of funny things to do and there are more expensive things that we'll really have to work towards. Part of my thinking in doing "fun" things with the kids is so that when they are older, and they get bored they will realize that you can do many fun things without getting into trouble! Seriously! 

This is what I wrote:

Fun Goals for Our Family:
- go to a 24-hour restaurant late at night and eat or have dessert (especially when they are early teens!)
- visit ghost towns in Oregon
-Take whole days and let all of the kids pick what we should do and eat for the day
-Travel to the Silverwood park in Idaho
-travel back east to see historical buildings and places
-discover old mining camps
-pan for gold
-road trip to California, renting a car
-camp all over Oregon and Washington
-travel to Canada
-ride the fast go-carts in Beaverton, OR
-go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium again
-See a play at the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, OR
-do random acts of kindness together
-go on a missions trip together
-anonymously give to others (flowers, toys, food baskets..)
-buy a video camera to preserve our family memories
-ride on the Willamette Jet boats as a family
-take a ride on the Sternwheeler in Portland, OR
-get a GPS and go geocaching
-go on a spontaneous road trip (jump in the car with just a few things and go somewhere!)
-go on a trip across Oregon

There will be more ideas I'm sure. These are just the things my husband and I thought of when I told him about having more "fun" together! We haven't really asked the kids yet but when we do we'll have to prioritize and decide what's first!

Remember to stop and have FUN with your kids!

No comments: