Building a legacy of fun with our children

Jul 22, 2021

During playgroup one day, I heard “Come here now Charlie”,”Don’t touch that, can’t do that…”. It saddens me as I watched a parent giving instructions and being authoritative to their child instead of actively engaging and having fun with them.

Parents often ensure that their child is provided for and are physically “safe”, but does that mean they are also emotionally and mentally healthy?

Building a legacy of fun with our children is so important as it makes the child feel that they are valued and they can be who they are around you.


How do we build a legacy of fun?


1. Get to know their interest

  • Is it board games, cooking, reading, dance, sports?

  • When we know their interest, we can engage with our child better and have more fun with them.

  • Try dress-ups, outdoor games, board games, sound and music play. Be creative!


2. Set aside regular special times

  • Research has shown spending quality time with our children helps build our relationships and helps the child’s development and well-being (and also ours).

  • If you have multiple children, try to spend one on one time with each of them where possible. Special times can include a trip to the café for a special treat or a day out in the city.

  • Whenever we put in extra effort and have quality time with our daughter, we see her glow and happy.

 

3. Make everyday activities or tasks fun

  • During car trips – sing along with music, play “I spy”, turn farts into jokes, make up your own silly stories before bedtime.

  • Or when it’s time to leave the playground, instead of yelling “let’s go NOW!”, make a game out of it and make it fun.



4. Encourage them when they fail or makes a mistake

  • It’s important to encourage our child to reflect and learn from their mistakes instead of criticising them.



5. Put away your device

  • We seem to be spending more time on devices, which means less time engaging with our child.

  • When we take our kids to the playground, do we choose to engage with our phones or with our children – playing hide and seek, playing café or creating obstacles?

  • Our choice of who/what we engage with shows children what is more important.

 

6. Commit our stress and burdens to God

  • It’s hard to prioritise having fun with our children especially when we are busy, stressed, anxious and when life is challenging. We all have those days and seasons.

  • Can I encourage you to commit to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). Let God carry your burden.

  • “Cast your care to the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). When our burden is lighter, there’s more opportunity to have fun with our children.

 

During one of the last lockdowns, I was feeling rather flat and miserable. Gracie, my 3-year-old decided she wanted to be a dog (not sure why), so Andrew taught her how to bark, sit and wiggle her tail. It was so much fun!

It reminded me that we can still have fun even in the challenging times.

Are you ready to have some fun?

LISA AUSTIN
Being His Presence In Every Place

Lisa is a mother of two young children. She has a passion for children and families, especially disadvantaged families. 
Lisa has worked with disadvantaged children in the high-rise flats in Melbourne and overseas missions.
She currently works as a pharmacist and loves spending quality time with her children.