It is one of the weirdest things in the world to spend so many years secretly wishing the kids would gain some independence, and then wake up one morning and wish they were babies again! All of us wish our lives away sometimes. It is natural. Bringing up babies and toddlers is full on and takes every second of our time and thinking. Then one day, we turn around, and they’re at school. They got themselves dressed, made their own breakfast and tied their own shoes. When your kids hit 8, 9 or 10 years of age, you too may suddenly find yourself more redundant than you realised you wanted to be!
Fortunately, they still have a way to go before they hit their teens. They are definitely not ready for you to back away and let them find themselves just yet. So rein them back in and find some great activities that you can all do together. Homework at this age is unlikely to be done in isolation, so be sure to get involved in each project and task they bring home. Fun activities for the two of you can include cooking, art, crafts and music. These years are important to both of you, but neither of you needs to pull away just yet.
At this age, your kids will be welcoming opportunities to contribute. Talk about recipes with them. Ask them what they might like to cook, where they need to shop for the ingredients, and how they can prepare the food. Helping the kids make up the evening menu instills great skills in them. You can help them draw up a shopping list. They can then do the maths with you to figure out how much the meal costs per head. More advanced children could do the same for the calorific and nutritional values. Alternatively, work together to put the details into an app for a comprehensive readout.
If your kids are creative and like to make things, come up with a project and get out the hot melt glue. Sticking and building are still core activities at this age, but designs can be planned and even drawn out in advance. Purpose for the creation could be included. Perhaps you would like a new memories box to place your favorite photos in. Grab an old shoe box and some craft sticks and beads. See what comes of it.
Activities, where you are both working in collaboration to produce something, can be great for you both. It gives you opportunities to bond and cement the parent-child relationship. Your relationship with each other will change dramatically in just a few more years. What you do now may help pave the way. Ensure your children feel you value their opinions and working methods. Their choices still need your approval psychologically. They will need to know you support them no matter what comes in the future, even if it’s no longer cool to hang out with you! Teaching them valuable skills about project management now will also stand them in good stead for life.