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How to Make Your Adventures Stick
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step.You realized that you need to spend more timewith your kids and you’re looking for ways tobring fun to your family. If you make a fewchanges now—and do them consistently—it willhave a big impact on your relationship with your kids for years to come.Before you dive into the activities andadventures, take a minute to
review these tipsthat will help you succeed
Know your kids’ best times
. Observe and learn each of your children’s patterns.When are they most energetic, grumpy or talkative? Some kids like to talk in the car on the way home from school, others open up at bedtime and still others warm up todiscussions over the dinner table. And they may all be in the same family! Figure outyour kids and pursue adventures at the times they’ll be most receptive.
Commit to adventure time on your schedule
. Most of us have heard aboutSMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely). Include somededicated fun time with your kids as one of yours. Add a weekly adventure to your to-do list right now. Set an alert. Each Thursday after work (or whenever works bestfor you), you’ll see a reminder saying, “Did you get 15 minutes in with the kids thisweek?” Make sure you can answer “Yes.”
. The next time you’re with your kids, make a consciouseffort to listen to the way you phrase things. Do you switch off your polite, publicvoice as soon as you’re alone with family, spouting things like, “You have to…” or “Go do…?” (Our hands are guiltily raised!) Try to not be so bossy.
“You get to
”are three magic words
that give kids some ownership of the task (or the adventure)and set the stage for fun, happy times.
Choose to put them first
. We have a million thingscompeting for our limited time, even our down time.Remind yourself to choose time with your kids rather thanthings that are less important in the long run. Use aphysical reminder—a sticky note on the TV remote, a pop-up on your computer, a picture of your kids as thewallpaper on your phone—to say “Hey, is doing this moreimportant than doing something with them right now?”