Updated: Oct 17, 2021
People have asked me why I start talking and thinking about behavior before I dive into fun activities. I get it, I mean every mom wants ideas to keep their kid busy and engaged right?
But what often happens is moms spend a lot of time and energy on new activities that don’t always work with their child. You’ve been there. You see a fun idea that another mom or teacher has done, and you can’t wait to try it. But it didn’t work out like you hoped. Either you spent too much time setting it up, cleaning it up, or your child just didn’t have fun.
That’s because every child, family and situation are unique. By starting with behavior, moms can set the foundation and make things simpler.
Creating an experience that matches the connection, presence and expectations is like laying down the foundation. It makes everything more simple and enjoyable for all.
Here are three questions you should ask yourself to help decide on what will be your next “fun” idea:
1. Connection: What does my child like to do and what goals do I have for them?
Through connection you know your child. And, by asking this question you can keep your why and goals in mind as you decide what activity to do. This will help to deflect some of those fancier ideas that may work for other moms and kids, but not yours. In the end you reduce stress, and have a happier experience for both you and your child.
2. Presence: When does my child get more playful and engaged in something?
They say timing is everything! But what’s more important is presence. When children can get in the moment, have fun and can play, time is non-existent to them. So knowing what amount of time you can give the experience and how much hands-on experience they can have will go a long way. If it’s an activity that requires a lot of adult support then ask yourself, if it’s worth YOUR time? Will your child have fun?
3. Expectations: What do I expect from my child in terms of rules, boundaries or things like a mess?
We all have boundaries or expectations, but sometimes don’t consider them until it’s too late. Is yours to keep the carpet clean? To follow craft directions, or that your child will have to learn to wait. These can be difficult for young children so it sometimes takes more work and adult support than you hoped for.
By asking these questions as you look at fun activities, you’re more likely going to make that lasting impression. For more about the three key ideas to get behavior you love check out this Tip Sheet.
Or watch this video.