Involving kids in activities is easier when you just have one. Having my first child was a dream! We played together, worked puzzles, went on daily walks, and practiced letters. Thirty minutes of book reading a day was a breeze for us. We danced to Frozen music and if I felt like I could handle it, we visited The Grocery Store.
And then child number two came.
It was like cotton candy met ice cream. My curly-haired toddler still wanted my almost continuous attention even while trying to nurse a fidgeting baby… while barefoot in the kitchen… stirring up chili… my hair still up in a ponytail from the day before… wearing pajamas. It was a lovely sight for my husband when he got home.
As the baby grew, they learned to get along to a point. I was still dealing with their squabbles while trying to work from home, keep my house clean, and put dinner on the table.
Involving Kids in Activities
One day I sat down and realized that I had spent most of the winter working while my girls watched every Disney Junior show and kid’s Netflix cartoon available. When the kids were not mushing their brains, they were frantically vying for my attention. This caused me frustration because I was trying to get so many things done. It made our moments together very sour.
This was not what I had ever envisioned for my family. Within a month, my husband received a promotion at work and I happily quit my job. When I told my oldest I was done with work, she grinned from ear to ear and couldn’t stop talking about how excited she was. I knew I was doing the right thing.
Fast forward to the present. I’m not perfect, but we are slowly changing our old family dynamics and becoming the family we envisioned we would be: Christ-centered, service-oriented, intellectual, kind, and fun-loving. Each week my husband and I meet together and discuss our family goals. We talk about what went well and what could have gone better. We pray for help and help comes.
I’m hoping to help you break your bad habits and get your kids active too. While my blog is about moving away from technology and involving kids in activities, please remember that:
Technology is Not Bad
One of my biggest annoyances is when people get down on “kids and technology.” (You better have read this in a frowning grandparent voice.) I have sat through so many. SO. MANY. church meetings where parents gripe about technology and how it’s ruining their kids.
Trust me. It’s not the technology. Technology used well = good. Technology used poorly = bad. When technology is used incorrectly, it can seriously damage the home and the people within it.
Parents are firstly responsible for technology in the home. They are the people who provide it to their children and monitor it. As children grow older, they become more autonomous and must work with parents to manage it themselves. Open communication is key.
Here are my top 5 reasons why I’m writing this blog:
1. To continue to break my bad habit.
You can’t just pull the kids away from a three hour tv binge once and call it good. You have to do it again and again and again. Each time you resolve to put a little more substance in their lives with fun activities for kids their age, you break the cycle of you needing them in front of a screen.
Involving kids in activities isn’t easy; it’s a struggle. I’ve had my fair share of it and have come up with a few solutions to help parents stay sane.
2. To help you survive.
Haha, I bet you thought it was to help your kids be healthy, right? No, that comes a little later. As a parent, I often feel like I am going INSANE. Did my brain get trashed with the car keys or something?
The truth is when your kids are involved in more outdoor and indoor exploration, they tend to leave you alone more. I intend to teach you how to lead them in this exploration. It does not need to be over the top. Nothing I do will leave you cringing, wondering where you will get the energy to do it.
Additionally, I’ll show you how to encourage your children to play independently. I can’t promise there won’t ever be fighting in between them, but we can hope for the best! Also, don’t forget to check out my self-care tips. Every parent needs to be well-versed in how to truly take care of one’s self.
3. To help you connect with your kid(s).
Connection to our families is more important now than it ever was. It’s so easy for each member of the family to become distracted by all the things the world has to offer us: reality tv shows, fancy interior decorating, substantial alone time, time with friends, books, technology… we can be so easily distanced from the people eating food, sleeping and playing right next to us!
Children need our attention, our love and to be honest, we need their attention too. We can learn more from children than we realize. And they can learn from us in the small teaching moments that each day brings.
Am I a perfect mom? No, and I hope you truly understand that! For those of my family and friends reading this, then you truly know that I am far from perfect, but that I do try.
Spend some time today to connect with your kids. Whether it’s through this blog or through your own way, wrap those kids up with a little love.
4. To provide you with easy-to-use materials
Work-from-home moms, stay-at-home moms, and working moms are ALL busy people. Now we def have some over-achievers and that’s cool; we need you too. But this blog is mostly for those who are looking for simple activities to bond with their kids and provide independent play as well.
This is precisely why you aren’t going to see eye-popping art projects on ThePeppyMom. Ain’t nobody got the energy for that, amiiright? (When poop ain’t on the walls and nobody is in diapers maybe.) The activities and crafts are designed to make moms happy and and children happy. Not to make people go, “Wow, this blogger is SO amazing. She should be like all over Insta and stuff!”
I’d also like to make a note here that I am not a graphic design genius. If you see something obviously drawn in permanent marker and then loaded onto the site, it’s because I tried it in Adobe for awhile, gave up and did it in marker. At least it will feel personal. 😉
5. To promote social interaction
Involving kids in activities is harder than you think. Have you ever gone to playgroup and find out that everyone else has a messy house, crazy toddlers, and a busy spouse too? The cathartic relief from finding out that everyone else is going through what you are is enough to bring a little peace into your day. While not every day is great for getting the kids ready and out the door for a playgroup or playdate, you can always find solace in our online community.
We promote kindness and positivity in our judgment-free zone, while also offering idea of free or fun activities to do in your local area. You might make some of your closest friends on this board. We just ask that you keep posts clean and kind.
While there will be online monitoring, please take your own measures to assure that your interactions with others on the online board is safe and secure. If anyone is making you feel uncomfortable, please report it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.