While many parents don’t realize it, the time that you can spend having family fun with your children is actually smaller than you might think.
For the first year or two of their lives, children are too young to truly interact fully with their parents. While they can be affectionate and loving, they haven’t yet developed the motor skills and intellect to play games, enjoy participating in group events, and spend quality time with the of the family. They are more observers than anything else until they learn to walk and run.
Parents who have had children during their teenage years know that once kids turn about 15 or 16, they go through a period in which they want nothing to do with their parents.
While this is a natural part of child development — adolescents are learning the social skills they will need to live on their own eventually — it often comes at the expense of their actively participating in family outings. Even if you can convince your teenager to come along on a family vacation or special event, in many cases they will spend most of their time hanging out with their friends.
Window of Opportunity
That leaves only a small window of opportunity in which most parents can expect their children to actively participate in family fun events. Between the ages of 3 and 15 is only about 12 years. And when you consider that you will have a relationship with your children for their entire lives, that represents only a small percentage of your time together.
So it’s important to make the most of it. For example, plan fun family vacations during the years that your children will most appreciate and remember them.
Birthday Parties and Special Events
Between the ages of 3 and, say, 10 or 11, your children’s birthday will be the central event of their entire year. Make the most of this opportunity by throwing them a fun, memorable birthday party, complete with a bounce house rental.
Take lots of pictures and create tons of memories so you can cherish them later when your children are all grown up. Then start all over again once you have grandchildren!