www.herald-journal.com
Family and fun
March 28, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

When your 11-year-old daughter tells you, “You are so weird, Mom,” take it as a compliment.

In our children’s eyes we are their parents, and that is it. And there is a certain code of conduct that we are to follow. Don’t dance. That’s weird. Don’t sing in the shower. You’re too old for that. Don’t do a gut splitting laugh. That’s really weird. And so the code goes.

Our children don’t think of us as anything else, other than their parents, who should not embarrass them. Honestly, it is good for our children to see us dancing, and hear us singing and laughing. They may call the behavior weird but deep down, they respect us for living life and enjoying moments.

You can still do those weird things without losing the respect and role as the person in charge of helping your children develop values and knowing the difference between right and wrong. There should always be room for humor, laughter, and play in your home environment.

In fact, we should teach our children to have fun by having fun with them. Even as adults, fun is extremely important. Everyone needs balance. Even if you enjoy your job, it is important to take time for leisure and play activities.

In our household, we enjoy turning on music and singing and dancing. My children have been getting royal laughs out of watching me show them dance “moves” that they either want me to imitate from them or pull out of my own repertoire of dance steps – thus, the “You’re weird, Mom.” But, I keep doing it anyway, because I am getting lots of laughs out of it (and really I think you are pretty cool anyway) thoughts.

Having fun with your children is a way of showing them that you love them and value them. There are constant ways we can show our children that we love them and value them. Hold hands with your child. Begin their days with a kiss and, “I love you.” End their days with the same sentiments. Our children should know they are loved always. We may not like everything they do. They will make mistakes, and we will help teach them, but we will always love them.

Spend individual time with each of your children, to show them that they are valued as individuals, with individual thoughts, needs, and skills.

Smile. Laugh. Listen.