Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Involve-Them-Young-e1jo2f1
One of the biggest complaints from parents seems to be the lack of time for themselves. Between work, chores, and caretaking, adult extracurricular activities seems to be last on the list.
In particular, hobbies and exercise. How can we as parents possibly fit one more thing on the to do list when we are running the kids to activities and managing a house & job at the same time?
Kids, especially really young ones, are adaptable and observant. When you decide to carve time for something you love, they will not only absorb your behavior but they will also grow to respect it.
We as parents know we are role models. Modeling behaviors doesn’t just stop at academic and emotional, but it also includes healthy & creative habits. If we take the time to exercise, our kids will notice. If we invite them to join us, they will likely have an appreciation for and continue the healthy habit long into the future. On the hobbies side, invite them to participate. If you’re really interested in something that little hands can’t yet handle, find a way to make it fun and easy for them. For example, you like working on old cars. Have them hand you certain tools or view the engine from the top of a stool. They can still be involved even if they’re not technically advancing the project. And as they grow older, they will continue to be engaged and their skills will also blossom.
Importantly, the more kids see you doing something you love, they will start to view you not only as their parent (and let’s face it, chauffeur, maid, and bank ATM), but they will start to understand that you are a person – with interests and passions just like them. And this relatability will span way beyond activities; when children deem you to be more than just their parent, they will open up to you in more intimate ways.
Involve your kids in your triumphs, your failures, your likes, your affections. It will benefit the whole family.