Would you rather poke out your eyes instead of seeing or hearing Frozen being played on your TV once again? Do you shudder when your child gets stuck in Molasses Swamp while playing Candy Land because you know that means the game is prolonged for another 15 minutes? Does the asphalt smell at your local amusement park make you feel nauseated even before you climb aboard your first ride?
When you are a single parent, you do everything with your child. There’s no one else to climb to the top of the play structure to rescue your child, who discovers that he is afraid of going down the slide. There’s no one else who will teach your child to roller skate, even if you feel ridiculous pulling your child along as you tentatively skate around the circle while Justin Bieber music blasts through the speakers. There’s no one else to attend the first Cub Scout or Girl Scout campout, even though you may prefer high-quality sheets and down pillows.
When you are a parent, you do things that your children will enjoy, regardless of how you feel about it. It’s just harder as a single parent because you still want your children to have those experiences, but there may not be another person around to assist you in providing those experiences for them.
Here are some ideas of things to do with your child that you may both enjoy. Although some of these things may cost you a little money, many of them can be completed rather inexpensively.
Here are nine activities that both you and your child can enjoy doing together.
Your child needs to burn some energy, and you need to burn off some calories. Instead of being irritated that your child has the athletic ability of your ex and can’t catch a ball, think about all the extra steps you are gaining as you run to retrieve it. This is a win/win activity for both a child and a mom.
Kids love water fights and playing with hoses. You need to wash your car. Combine these two activities, and you can check something off your to-do list while interacting with your child. It’s important to realize that when you sign up for this activity, you are going to get wet.
What kid doesn’t love playing with bubbles? Want to be the cool mom on the block? Use a kiddie pool and a hula hoop and create the most gigantic bubbles ever. Again, this activity will get you moving, and your kids will love you for it.
Kitchen floors are always the best places to have a dance party. Crank up the music while you are making dinner and encourage the kids to dance as you make sandwiches.
Drive out to a rural area and gaze up at the stars. Bring a blanket so you can lie down on the ground and get the full experience. You can download apps to help you find constellations, or you can simply stare at the wonder of the night’s sky.
Start a story for your child, and once you get to an essential point in the plot, ask your kid to decide what happens next. Do this while driving or waiting for the doctor.
Allow your child to pick out a few ingredients at the grocery store and make customized milkshakes. Do a taste test with everyone in the family to see who made the best concoction.
If you don’t enjoy reading time with your child, then you aren’t doing it right. Do the research and choose timeless books that kids have always loved. There’s a lot of great children’s lit out there that you and your child would both enjoy. Read to your child each night for as long as they allow you.
Thank goodness we live in an age when there are options of board games other than Candy Land. Sure, your child should know how to play this classic game, but then you should quickly expand your horizons. Games like Guess Who, Head Banz, or Connect Four are certainly preferable. Try to find a simple card game called Blink. Teach your child some classic card games as well.
As to whether or not you allow your child to win a game every once in a while is up to your parenting philosophy.
Hopefully, this has inspired you to try something different with your kids. Their childhood will go by in the blink of an eye, so take advantage of the time they choose to be with you instead of their friends.
This article was originally posted at Midlife Single Mommy.