One of the hardest obstacles single parents deal with is the fact that the two homes are probably different. This isn't bad, just takes time for the child and each set of families to get used to. It is hard for a child to go from one kind of lifestyle to another. I don't exactly how she is at her Mom's I know a little but I know we have different rules and guidelines but sometimes I fear Quinn is getting what she wants and I know both her Mom and I try to instill you can't in life to the extent at her Mom's I don't know. This past weekend however Quinn was upset because she wanted to watch TV in the family room and we said no. She got to watch a few movies in her room and play with her toys and we gave her space and played along side with her as well at times. However she gets to the point where she wants her way and then demands a show downstairs. We remind her she saw a movie in her room but she says she now wants TV down stairs.
The TV hooked up in her room only plays movies, no TV. We use it as a treat and if she's good. I didn't have a TV even in my room growing up but my Dad finished the basement that allowed us to use so we had our own place to go. With Quinn having a TV with a DVD player in her room I was nervous at first but she knows its only for a treat and on days we can't go outside. So as she pleaded her case we still advised no she can't watch more of her shows. She got upset and we told her she can't watch the whole day away! We took out some board games and played together. We wanted her to have fun and not just watch TV. So with different games we took the time to just have fun, work on our counting skills and enjoy our time together without TV. We played, laughed and just had fun. Quinn won and she even said to play again so others could have the chance to win. Which I thought was nice. She does sometimes get carried away when she gets a good roll or if something good goes her way. We do work on that, explaining getting excited is part of the game but not to rub it in or be cocky about it. After all the game isn't over till its over! How often in professional sports do people rub things in then loose in the end... We will never learn.
So some tips if the weather is bad and you are in doors!
1) Limit TV/Movie time and time in their room alone.
2) Get them out and about! If you are a single parent and have limited time make sure you use it wisely! Play a board game and enjoy the time you have together. They will have fun and learn as they go. Your children will also learn the basics of wining and loosing.
3) Board games, puzzles and even card games have been something Quinn loves to play and she often takes them out without me saying anything to her.
4) Let the TV rest and spend time sharing a snack and a game with your kids. You can make a family game night, or play during the day on a winter or rainy day! This also strengthens the bond with you and your child.
5) Make sure your child picks out some games at the store they like as well. Show them you are interested in what they like and don't just but a game you like or think they may like. Give them the independence to try something they see and give hints and pointers as needed.
Remember just being there and showing love and attention is the foundation your kids need from you. If you need to do things that cant involve your kids, do them another day or time. Put them first and show this by offering activities and ideas to bring you all closer together!
I hope this helps! Any pointers or tips just leave a comment or send an email!
You are never alone...