Days for the Kids: Getting it Right

Sometimes, it seems like the more effort you put into making a day special for your child, the more they’ll act like it’s a malignant attempt to make them do something they don’t want to – and the only pleasure they seem to take is in ruining it. Here are some tips for planning a day out for your child that you will both enjoy.

The Meal Out

You may find yourself stuck between, on the one hand, wanting to treat your child to a special dining experience and, on the other, wanting to avoid the embarrassment of a special dining experience gone wrong. You may think it’s better to take your child to a child-friendly fast food-type restaurant, but wouldn’t it be best to find a compromise that you’d both enjoy? One way of doing this is to let them choose the restaurant. By letting your little one pick the venue, they will feel an element of responsibility for the evening, and be less likely to play up.

However, even if they agree that the food’s a treat, we all get tired. If it’s been a good evening so far, and you’re just worried they won’t quite make it through to the end without throwing a tantrum then here’s a disciplining technique: one strike. They get one warning that if the evening becomes unpleasant you’ll leave, and you’re going to stick to it ruthlessly. It might not work the first time, but it can lead to both you and your child learning to have a great time at all restaurants – not just child-friendly ones.

The Evening Out

It might be that you’ve waited months for your child’s favorite popstar or singing troop of cartoon characters to come to your hometown, but sometimes a child just can’t seem to cooperate – even if only they stand to benefit from it.

A treat should be a treat, but if they’re acting out then sometimes there’s nothing for it but for them to miss out, and hope that by next time they’ll have learnt. Fortunately, there’s always something going on, and if you check on you’ll find another show, so you can offer them a second chance. If your child simply won’t accept a treat, then that doesn’t mean that you should always go without.

Even if you’re the most committed parent in the world, it never hurts to spend some time looking after yourself or strengthening your relationship with your partner. Get a babysitter, and go and see a show.

Your House and Your Friend’s House

As your little one gets older, you’ll find that the loving environment you’ve built for your child to grow up and learn in is, in fact, not nearly as cool as your child’s friend’s house. Sometimes, it can be difficult to fight off feelings of jealousy as a parent, but it helps to bear in mind that your child’s friend is probably going through the same thing with their parents.

Try not to get drawn into these kinds of games, and make sure, if your child’s bringing friends back to your house regularly, that they’re being invited out as well. It can be easy to end up doing more than your fair share of childcare.


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