A PracticalDad Tip:  Keeping Children Occupied

You have an outdoor job that needs done and the kids want to "help".  Your options?

  1. Let them help and spend two or three times as long finishing the task;
  2. Re-direct them – again and again – to the playset or toys and finally lose patience.

Option 1 works if you plan ahead and build lost time into the project.  But if there’s no time allowance, then you probably select Option 2.  I’ve been caught in both scenarios and each can be hugely frustrating.

Let me suggest another option.  Give the kids some larger paint brushes and a bucket of water and let them "paint" the driveway, patio or playset.  They can "paint" to their heart’s content and the creation will dry to nothing, letting them start again.  The larger brushes and bucket are out of their usual experience and the novelty can last as long as their creativity and the bucket.

And in the meantime, work like mad to finish the job.

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