Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, September 30, 2013

Time To Bond!

VeegMama's ideas for mother/daughter bonding activities

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure and fun of leading my oldest daughter's troop and their moms on a mother-daughter retreat in Big Bear. This was a year in the making and lots of work, but it was worth every minute.  It truly is the simple things in life that are the best, and the one-on-one time with my oldest, as well as the time spent with other moms, was enriching and invigorating.  It recharged my spirit and soul for the school year!  The weekend also reminded me that there is always time for fun, and a reminder to schedule individual time with my kids.  

Here are some of my favorite activities from the trip.  Try some or all of them the next time your daughter is asking for some "mom" time with you.

Make a meal together
My girls were earning their Simple Meals Junior patch on the trip, so they had lots of opportunities to cook meals.  They cooked lunch, dessert, and breakfast on their own as part of their patch requirements, but one of our favorite meals was dinner because all of the moms and daughters cooked together.  Try this at home some time.  Pick something simple (we chose spaghetti, meatballs, salad, and garlic bread) to keep frustration levels low and the fun meter high.  The conversation that flows and teamwork that ensues will keep you flying high the whole night.  

Arts & crafts
When is the last time you made lanyards or friendship bracelets together?  We did both of these, and also made SWAPs (a traditional Girl Scout pin craft).  My girls are old enough now, where I usually just set out the supplies and let them do the crafts while I make dinner or whatever else is on my to-do list for the day.  At the retreat, I actually sat down and did the crafts with my daughter.  It was so much fun and reunited me with my inner girl who used to love doing that stuff as a kid.

Go on a hike
I live in beautiful Southern California so I am outdoors a lot, but often by myself while I walk the dog, exercise, or run errands while the kids are in school.  During our weekend, we took a fun scavenger hunt hike, with stops along the way for pictures together.  I loved this time with my daughter, chatting and appreciating nature at the same time.  She loved looking for the nature items on the scavenger hunt.  After doing this on the trip, I am thinking of doing a Sunday morning walk on a regular basis with my kids individually.

Be a star
What retreat is complete without a talent show?  My kids put on shows for us all the time.  In our show at the retreat, the moms and the daughters put on acts together.  From coming up with what to perform, to practicing it together, and then actually performing, lots of bonding took place.  And the girls loved it.  Seeing their moms be silly and have fun goes along way.  During your next family night, put on a talent show for the rest of your family.  I guarantee the whole family will be into it!