Parenting — 11 June 2009
A Relationship Developing Activity for Parents and Children

A Relationship Developing Activity

Perhaps together you will choose to organize a family reunion, put on a concert and invite family and friends for a pot-luck supper and “Show’ or write a family story of an outing or holiday together.

Today let’s look at making a keepsake about an outing or family holiday; a trip to the zoo, the science museum, a factory, a fun-park, a ball-game, the airport or going skating ……. endless possibilities. Let’s choose the zoo. A trip to the zoo is more likely to excite a younger child, but the principles are the same for any activity.

Discuss Options and Plans with Your Child

Tell him you want to spend a day together and make a book/poster/movie about it – what are some of his ideas? Just you and him together if possible. He will LOVE to be just with you alone. Praise his great ideas. He will understand choosing something you can afford. = My mom wants to spend a day with me = I am fun to with.

Look up times and prices on the internet together or he can phone to ask. Plan your day and picnic, think of everything you will need; he can make the list. = Mom thinks I am a good organizer = I am someone good to work with.

At the zoo he can buy the tickets, and ask for brochures and maps. = I can talk with adults = I am a good communicator.

Create opportunities to talk with others:

As you look at all the exhibits, let him be in charge of the camera. Take photos and notes together, get him to photograph you, and to ask others passing by to pictures you together. = I am outgoing = I am confident with others

In public teach by example

Chat with other visitors and the keepers, and ask questions. Most people love to be asked things. Perhaps suggest that he ask questions about what he is most interested in. = I can ask what I want to know = It’s okay for me to talk to people

Your child models your actions.
When people help you, or you take a ride at the zoo etc., of course you thank them.

Your expectations of your child’s response (reinforced with a whispered reminder when needed) demonstrate strongly. = I am polite = I confident about how to be with others

Maybe during the following week at home make your story together, with photos, the tickets, pictures from brochures and notes about how he asked this, how he told someone that, how together you enjoyed your day. He will show it to his dad, and maybe invite relatives over. = I have made an interesting project = I have something to offer others

Enrich his life through others.
We need a sense of belonging.

For an older child, putting together a movie or PowerPoint presentation to show friends and relatives is really exciting. He can phone to invite them over, and proudly show his work. This is one project that will never be thrown away, even as he grows much older.= our friends and relatives are interested in what I do = I belong, they like to know about me…

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Kytka Hilmar-Jezek

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