The 4th of July has been a holiday where many people seem to take the time to just relax and enjoy, but as COVID cases appear to be growing and many connections come from going to the beach, relaxing may not be in the cards this year. It’s hard to believe that it is almost July and we have been in this whirlwind of unbelievable changes since early March. I’m like everyone else, when is this going to end?
Many of us thought at the beginning of June we were on the right track and then just when we started to get excited and we able to let the children out to play, we have to start rethinking what we decide to do once again. There may not be parades and fireworks, but bottom line, we still have our children and family, whatever that may look like. Let’s do some teaching that the children especially the older children can use for the rest of their lives. We’ve been given time with them that we would not have used unless this had happened.
Why not teach them to change a tire? Even if your child is just 12, they will be driving in the twink of an eye. And the changing of oil? At least let them help you do some of this now. My dad didn’t teach me how to change a tire until I was getting ready to go to college in Chattanooga and I wasn’t even driving a car that first year.
I may get bashed for this one, but your children should know how to do the laundry at least by the age of 12. Seriously, my boys played baseball and wore those white pants and it’s not easy but when they were in the fifth and sixth grades, I told them it was time for them to start doing their own laundry, even those pants, it truly did not hurt them and because I was a working single mother, they began. Don’t get me wrong, when we were all busy, I would help them, especially with the uniforms. The coolest thing that I received back from this, was when Levi, my oldest went to Otterbein and he had to teach his whole floor how to do their laundry.
Face it in the times when we are back to normal and going back and forth to practices and games, each member of the household needs to at least fold towels and another such laundry. It won’t kill them. Teach them to pack their own bags and the first time they forget something, they won’t be blaming you.
Last week, I mentioned that cooking with the family can be both fun and educational at the same time, and you get to spend quality time with your children. For the holiday, if you are planning a picnic or cookout, get everyone involved. Let the young ones make decorations for the tables and then have them set up the plastic ware, plates and napkins. Teach the older ones by letting them choose a dish to make with you like potatoes salad, or just a salad, make desserts and let them help choose. Not for those that are even older, wouldn’t it be great if you teach them the correct way to grill, with your supervision, and help watch to food while it cooks? I know we had a bad habit of just doing these things, because it is ‘easier’, but truly we were missing out on time spent with our children, something they can remember for the rest of their lives and we have all learned a lesson about the fact that we really were ‘too busy’ and missed out on great times with our children.
Other things that the children can learn and share with you, could be some hobby you do, like sewing, embroidery, knitting etc. Remember sewing just like laundry will be an important skill your girls will need to at least sew on a button or fix a small tear. Yard work, whether it be plants, rocks, some landscaping, or the lawn work in general, let them do what they can even if you feel mowing is too dangerous, there is so much more they can do to share with you.
With all the changes the children of our lives have already been through, they will probably just think this is just another change that they can have a say in and do with their parents. Our kids want a voice, but they don’t know when they can share their thoughts about things that happen in their lives daily, you may be surprised with the ideas they come up with whether it be outside or inside cooking. May this holiday a new holiday where they have input and get to spend time with you.
I look forward to searching for some different and more ideas, and if you have something, you have done or seen that kids might enjoy doing, send it to me. My column this summer will be full of funfilled activities to do both inside and out. You don’t want to miss out. Keep in mind. I try to do my best to find things that are not a ton of work for you.
Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to be kind to each other and continue to set a good example for your children. Happy 4th!
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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