Being an aunt at such a young age (18 years old), it posed a great challenge to try to win the title of being the best aunt while avoiding to spoil my niece. After research and research, I came across the book Mega Skills which bottled up a collection of the hidden wisdom to have fun while building the child’s character. Here are some of the activities for different age points:
- Starting Out by helping children take delight in nature: 1 -2 years old
On a warm, rainy day, surprise the children by dressing them in swimsuits and taking them outside to enjoy a gentle summer shower. You might even put on boots and jump in the puddles. Talk to your child about how you jumped in the rain when you were young. Look at how water collects in cracks and potholes. Move the water about and create a river. Water delights us all, no matter how old we are.
- Keep going by saying something nice: 2-3 years old
Make it a family activity to end each day by saying something nice about each other. Praise needs to be as specific as possible. General praises such as “You are wonderful!” tends to be overlooked. You might say to your child, “I like the way you helped your brother/sister find his lost shoe” or “I noticed that you got ready for bed the first time I asked”
Whether spoken or written, these messages help children express their positive feelings and learn how good it feels to receive nice words.
- Moving forward by promoting good habits: 3-4 years old
Look with your child through magazines to find pictures of people using good health habits. Examples include brushing teeth, washing and eating vegetables, cleaning fingernails, reading books. Talk about, cut out, and post these pictures in different rooms of the house.
- Taking big steps by saying what they feel: 4-5 years old
Talk to your child about feelings- their own, yours, those of other family members or a friend at school. Some questions to ask include: “How do you think I feel when you give me a hug?” “How did you feel when you fell down?” “What does it feel like when a friend will not play with you?” . For instance, going on vacation, catching a fish, having a special time with you, or talking to a new friend. You can ask your child to draw pictures about feelings and then talk about them.
- Opening school doors by deciding on what’s important: 5-6 years old
With your child, make a list of very important things that it would be hard to live without. Initially, the choices might include objects such as TV, computer, a bike, or a car. After talking about what your child has listed, review the list again and start to eliminate the items that aren’t important. Allow your child to make the judgments about what must be kept on the list and try to replace the materialistic items with more important spiritual things such as health and well-being.
Disclaimer: I hold no right to any of these activities as they are strictly based from the book Mega Skills by Dorothy Rich and Beverly Mattox.
– Soulayma Zock
“They call me the mother Teresa of the millennials, I don’t know whether it is because I’m the mother of every group, or there’s an old soul living within me. You’ll always find me with a mug and a pile of books walking around, tripping over my own mess. I am Soulayma Zock, currently studying Banking and Finance at LAU and I’ll leave the rest for you to discover.”