Welcome to 2020, a new year and a new decade! The new year is a great time to teach children about making meaningful resolutions, starting new habits, and planning meaningful activities. Think about creating some traditions that they can pass on to their children! Here are some ideas to help you make this new year extra special.
Give back to others. This is a great time of year to teach kids the importance of being kind and helping others. The Points of Light, whose mission is to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action that changes the world, suggests making crafts or writing letters to be included in soldier care packages, or maybe paying a visit or making special treats for nursing home residents. Teaching the act of kindness is a lifelong gift.
Explore your community. Most cities, big and small, have lots of activities going on for families to explore together. Many activities are free or low cost. Go visit a local park or a museum you have never been to. Check out your local public library for activities for adults and children alike.
Plan a movie day. Spending an afternoon or evening watching classic movies is a must! (You could also spread out your movie marathon over the course of a week.) Let each family member choose a favorite classic flick to watch with the family. Be sure and have some wonderful conversations about the movies you watch.
Plan a cooking activity with your children. Children love spending time in the kitchen making meals with adults. More and more, dads are finding that knowing their way around a kitchen and baking can be an activity in which children of all ages can get involved. Toddlers can stir ingredients, preschoolers and older children can help roll, shape, and decorate. If you make more than you can eat, take some treats to your local fire department or police station where they will be most appreciated.
The most important thing you can do with your children is simply give them your time and attention. Put away those cell phones and tablets! Read a book together and enjoy the quality time. Save some time after work and school for time together. Have dinner together! Our lives get so busy that we sometimes forget that just being present and undistracted is the best gift you can provide to your children.
For more NRFC tips for dads, see:
· Tip Card for Dads of Pre-Teens (also available in Spanish).
This blog was written by Jackie Taylor at ICF on behalf of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. Ms. Taylor has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education, supporting early childhood programs, conducting training and technical assistance and supporting federal programs serving children and families. She trains hundreds of early educators every year on topics such as social-emotional development, working with families, working with children who have been traumatized, and child development. She has written articles, newsletters, and blog posts on topics around children and childcare. Ms. Taylor holds a Master of Science in Family and Child Studies from Texas State University.