Wanna stay close to your kids? Of course!
We all want to. But sometimes our “want to’s” do not become our actual “do’s.”
Keeping close to our children is something that we must plan for and put on our calendars just like appointments.
I’m down to the last ten weeks of “Talking to our Kids,” so you have a lot of ideas to choose from.
Here are some neat ways to use these cards (or cards you make up yourself) to keep close:
(1) There are a lot of coupons for special things floating around, but we like these because their name tells the why behind them. We are going to do this or that because we want to keep close.
(2) Don’t pass them out constantly—and possibly not even once a week. (Other coupons, like affirmation ones, are good for weekly or lunch box types of coupons.)
(3) These should be used to communicate to the child that you want to do something special together so that you can be close to each other.
(4) Try to do low to no cost things so that it doesn’t become a thing where your child always has to DO something in order to be with you. (See ideas below.)
(5) Alternate with just Mom; just Dad; and Mom and Dad together with the child.
(6) The activities together do not have to be long. (Again, see ideas below.) They can be as short as an hour long card game or a walk in the neighborhood.
(7) While you don’t want these to get expensive, if you have pre-teens and teens, do plan to incorporate some food-related outings! It can be simple like an ice cream cone from McDonalds, but our experience has been that tweens and teens love to eat!
(8) Be sure that your times together are not always so activity-driven that you can’t talk and just be together. For example, while going to the movies might be fun, it would be better to go to the park and take a picnic snack and walk around the lake so that you can really connect.
(9) Take notes about what your child likes, what outings or times together meant a lot to him before, etc. Our oldest son thrived on my husband meeting him in the driveway to shoot baskets at ten every night after Ray had put the littles to bed. Some things are more special to some kids than other things are.
(10) If you are giving these to teens, you might not want to put a date on the coupon. While it is easier to schedule with an elementary child (Saturday morning breakfast sandwich at the park), teens’ schedules are often challenging to work around. You want to give him the what then determine a time together that works. (These should not feel like obligations to the teens—like time that you are taking away from other things.)