Sometimes it can be easy to think that because you live with someone or see them every day, you know who they really are. Because children develop at such an accelerated rate, however, it can be hard for parents to keep up sometimes. It seems you just barely started changing their diapers before they were suddenly starting kindergarten and practically the next day they are getting their driver’s license. While your child is growing up, they still want to respect that to you they will always be your baby – but they also don’t want to always be treated like one. This is why it is important for parents to engage in activities that get them outside of their normal routines with their children. This will help you see them in a whole new light – as they are and as they are becoming, not who they were when you were still changing their diapers. Here are 4 great ways for moms to get to know their girls.
Not only do your girls have established routines with you, they also have established routines with all their friends and relatives. If you want to see who they really are, put them in the company of people they don’t know and may never see again. You may see a whole different side of your daughters, which may be a good side or it may be a bad side. Either way, it will give you a good indication of who they are developing into and may give you some idea of areas you may still need to work on with them as a parent. On the other hand, they may shock you by how mature they are and how well they behave around strangers!
Retreats often provide great opportunities to get to know each other in new ways, particularly if it’s an electronic-free retreat. Many retreat centers will have activities ranging from swimming, hiking, yoga, kayaking, or other types of recreation. Of course, part of the bonding experience of going on a retreat is planning for and packing for it in advance. This provides a great opportunity to go shopping to purchase new swimwear, yoga gear or other outdoor apparel and hopefully have some good conversations in the process.
Try Something New
Whether it’s skydiving or mud baths, engaging in a new hobby together will not only create a great memory, but it will take you out of your regular comfort zones and routines. These types of activities will let you and your daughters have unique experiences that can pull you closer together. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy as long as it’s new. You can go shopping for fancy bohemian swimwear at a little boutique or even just try Thai food for the first time, and, as long as you’re together, you’ll be better for it.
Be A Chaperone
Chaperoning a trip or event will allow you to watch your daughter or daughters in action around their own peers and potentially even with peers of a different gender. Observing their behaviors and interactions with their peers might provide quite the eye-opening experience for you. In addition, you might be surprised by what the parents of your children’s friends might have to say or not say about your children. It might be that all you see is the girl who can’t manage to keep her hair tidy if her life depended on it, when her peers and their parents see a great student, friend and role model.
With every day that passes, your girls are growing and changing. Who they are today might bear little resemblance to who they were a year ago or even just a few months ago. Life events are happening at a rapid pace at this stage of their life that is molding and shaping and forming them almost faster than you can keep up. Take the time to savor every moment and do your best to get to know them in a new way during each step of their journey.