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Great Indoor Games for When You're Stuck Inside (page 2)

Great Indoor Games for When You

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Updated on Aug 27, 2013

Be consistent.

When you respond to your child, do so “mindfully” and try to be just as sensitive and enthusiastic each time. For example, don’t jump up right away to help your child pack his backpack one time, and other times finish reading your newspaper first. Research tells us that children who have inconsistent parenting grow up uncertain that they can depend upon the adult in their life, because sometimes they are dealt with compassionately and sometimes the adult is not there in the moment of need. They grow up anxious and insecure. Try this: eat dinner as a family every night together. Studies show that kids who eat every night with their parents perform better in school, and in life as a whole.

Enjoy your child.

Sure, it may sound obvious, but with all the pressures of life, sometimes fun falls by the wayside. Enjoying your child and sharing the awe of discovering what it means to be a person in a wondrous world helps her develop a positive sense of self. So slow down and take your child in. Add some playfulness back to your life together—it may seem strained at first, but it will grow more natural. Try this: make a “date” with your kids, whether it’s a game night, a surprise adventure, or a trip to the movies, put it on the calendar and stick to it.

Communicate consciously.

The way we communicate with our children has a profound impact on how they develop.  It can be incredibly difficult when you’re tired, hungry, disappointed, or angry, to communicate at your best… But our ability to have sensitive, reciprocal communication nurtures a child’s sense of security, and nonverbal messages of eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, posture, and the timing and intensity of response often reveal more than words. Clue in to your children’s body language and try to treat them with compassion. And rather than lecture, listen. Try this: make each member of the family a “mailbox” out of a shoebox, and place it by their bedroom door. When you think of it, slip in a note—something funny that happened at work that day that you forgot to tell them, or an official invitation to grab a burger over the weekend... Anything goes!

Let your child take charge.

You planned the first family night. Let your child plan the next one. Start a new tradition—monthly, weekly, whatever you can honestly commit to doing. Kids this age are just learning to plan things independently, and this is a fun way to help them spread their wings.

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