Stay Home Mom Tip – Be Involved In Their Interests

Being involved in your kids’ interests is not always easy, I realize that.  But it may be worth looking for opportunities.  As a new stay-home mom, I am always trying to figure out things to do with my kids (ages 4 and 2) that are educational, fun, but don’t bore me to tears.

Here’s a bit of backstory.  It wasn’t too long ago, just a few months ago, that I abruptly and thankfully was given the opportunity to transition from working mother to stay home mom.  I had been looking forward to doing so for years, but this transition posed its own set of problems.

Mainly – there were some things that Mr. Hot Stuff and I had knowingly compromised on because of lack of energy and the effort involved.  For instance, in the past we had let our kids take toys to the table if they happened to have them, we weren’t regulating or keeping an eye on their juice & milk intake, we didn’t have any rule about where eating is okay, etc.

How we did it was if it wasn’t any major impact, then we’d usually let it slide.  But when I was able to stay home, it was great because then I had the time and mental focus to actually start working on these things.  So, we’ve successfully transitioned to set limits on juice & milk, eating is only allowed in the kitchen and dining room, etc.

But one of the battles… and oh is it a battle, is the almighty television.  I have to say we have never had cable TV, but my kids have always watched lots of videos and DVDs (oh, and Netflix too).  Back when I was working, it was the easiest and most comfortable solution for all of us to sit and watch TV in the evenings.  Because my kids were used to watching TV at home frequently, we’d end up watching a lot of TV on the weekends.  Yes, I know it wasn’t the best scenario, but honestly we were both exhausted and didn’t even have energy to decide on a limit.

I’m still sort of debating myself on this limitation… I go back and forth with how much of a daily limit to set.  The girls still love to watch their movies and I love having them entertained so I can do laundry and clean the kitchen!  But I am really making a concerted effort to get them interested in other things so that the default will be asking to do something else besides watch a show when they wake up in the morning.

Hence the reason for this post.  Not more than 10 minutes ago I realized something.  My kids are young, and I am not one of those people that particularly enjoys doing most things that a 4 year old or especially a 2 year old enjoys.  My hat goes off to the parents who can, because sitting around stacking things or playing pretend and doing things like that bore me to death.

But recently I discovered that I still enjoy coloring, especially after we made the switch from the washable crayons (that come in 8 colors) to regular crayons that come in hundreds of colors.

In the last few weeks I’ve been setting things aside and just sitting down to color with Ballerina Girl, my 4 year old.  She loves to color and is very artistic (and is actually quite good at coloring for her age).  I realized that SHE loves coloring with me.  She will watch how I do it and is learning things about colors and art faster than she would just figuring things out on her own.  And best thing ever – if I notice she’s bored or doing something I don’t want her to do, if I suggest coloring together she will drop everything and wait for me to go print off some more coloring pages.

Since I noticed this I’ve been trying to do it a lot more and even am trying to keep it scheduled into a daily routine.  It’s quality time for us, we can do educational coloring pages so it helps her learn her alphabet and numbers, she’s learning about art concepts, and I get to sit down and do something that doesn’t require me to think.

Little Rambo the 2-year old doesn’t particularly enjoy coloring, though she usually likes to sit with us and sort the crayons by color, so it usually works out.  I would still like to find something she can be interested in (and would love any suggestions) but I have a feeling that in a few years we will find something to do together.

So there’s a stay home mom tip – be involved in their interests if you can, because it will increase your quality time with them, and it will increase the quality of the activity for them as well.

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5 Comments

  1. Great article ……I enjoy your creativity……i suspect as your girls get older their activities will become more and more enjoyable. Maybe Ballerina Girl will paint Bob Ross style !

  2. Yes just like her Papa 🙂 I do agree though, as they get older I’ll have an easier time enjoying their activities. And not only that, they will have an easier time enjoying my activities as well, once they are able to do them.

  3. GAH! I just wrote this huge long comment on this post and then I somehow seemed to have erased it…grr! It’s getting really late, but I will definitely come back to comment on this one tomorrow! Love it!!

  4. Apparently I no longer know how to use technology! I’m going to blame me “losing” this comment I was writing on a new computer. And the fact that the baby I live with was up a bunch last night..haha!!

    ANYWAY. Here is the comment I thought I lost..I’m a bit of a space cadet at QUARTER TO TWO (OMG! HOW DID IT GET SO LATE! SHOOT ME NOW!)

    Colouring is definitely one of my favourite things to do with kids..but I’m lucky to be one of those people that doesn’t mind playing trucks, building things (LEGO! AWESOME! I LOVE LEGO!) or playing house or dolls or anything like that..haha! I sometimes think that I’m still a little kid at heart..or I just never forgot how to play! Even now, I’m 25 and one of my favourite things to do is babysit..and any families I babysit for LOVE to have me babysit because when I babysit..we don’t sit around and watch tv…I mean..it can be fun..but we could play pirates and make treasure maps to find hidden treasure! We can play safari where we narrowly escape being eaten by a lion! We can take a rocket ship to the moon! And don’t even get me STARTED about building forts. I am the fort building QUEEN and all of my babysittees know it.

    Hi, my name’s Erin, and I’m KIND OF a huge dork.

    I don’t think that little kids care so much that you’re good at playing, but they definitely know when you don’t enjoy it..so you’ve hit the nail right on the head – you definitely need to find things that you enjoy doing with them and go from there!

    How about just learning a bunch of songs and actions to go along with songs? Youtube has tons of stuff, and when I taught kindergarten the three/four year olds LOVED singing – it didn’t matter what it was, they just LOVED it…and there are tons of awesome songs you can incorporate if you want an educational aspect too..and you could even integrate colouring! I had this awesome song (I’ll see if I can dig it up in my teaching files!) that helped to teach kids about the sounds the letters in the alphabet make! You can also do some really awesome games that help kids get prepared for school/learning/reading/etc. and the like! If you want any ideas, let me know..I have a bunch from when I worked in kindergarten..things that can just push them up a notch if you work with them at home 🙂

    I love kids, teaching and all of that stuff..which you might have caught from my ramblings here..haha!!

    1. You are lucky! I know my kids wish I’d play with them more in certain aspects… but I just can’t hardly stand it sometimes so I try to divert them to things that I like, or helping me do stuff like fold laundry or even just diverting them to doing things like practicing letters or numbers. Sometimes I overdo it though!

      I would LOVE to have any ideas for games I can play with them to help them learn, we are going to homeschool and I want to start now, but their attention spans are so small (especially Sophia who is only 2) that we don’t spend much time in the day. I think that their age it’s probably fine, but I know if we could make it more fun or a game somehow we’d all enjoy it more.

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