Mormon Channel Daily

Becoming Friends With Your Kids Now

June 07, 2016

A family playing games together.4:29

What makes a home fun and inviting to be in? We discuss different ways parents can create that type of positive environment for their children now. Tune in to the Mormon Channel Daily podcast every M-F for a daily dose of inspiration.

1) Listen – if you want your children to come to you with their worries, problems, or doubts in the future, listen to them now to build that trust.

2) Have a healthy balance between structure and spontaneity. Surprising your kids with a trip to a water park, the movies, or dessert at their favorite restaurant are all really fun things to do together, but if these things happen all of the time, they can get old and lose their novelty and purpose quickly. As best-selling author and researcher Gretchen Rubin puts it, “Doing a little work makes goofing off more fun.” Have fun surprises planned as a reward to announce to your children when chores or homework or a project are completed and it will mean more to them and ultimately be more exciting and fun. The author gives the example of eating oatmeal or cereal all week for breakfast so that donuts on a Friday morning are a fun treat to look forward to!

3) Create an “us music” playlist – one you can enjoy with your whole family while you do chores, eat, play games, ride in the car, get ready in the morning, etc. Have everyone vote on songs that it should include.

4) Spend time doing something your kid enjoys doing – go to the skating rink, the mall, or play catch if that’s what they are interested in.

5) Open doors to friends – Welcome your children’s friends into your home and interact with them – get to know them and their parents.

6) Set traditions – such as a daily family dinnertime and weekly movie or game nights together. Make it fun and not an obligation so your kids will actually choose to show up as they get older.

7) Have a regular debriefing session with your kids. Check in with them individually in a quiet or private place to see how they’re feeling about school, friends, activities, and other events that are going on.