Think ahead before you call a sitter, not just because of the money you will save, but also because you will end up sharing so many interests with your children. We took Joe to his first folk festival when he was 6 months old. Two-year-old Jenna cheered with us at political rallies and gazed wide-eyed at an exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe flowers. The kids have gone out with us for tacos and chicken wings since they were babies in arms, mesmerized by the ceiling fans.

It is important to include kids as much as possible. The more parents can take seriously being present with their kids, the better. It does pay off. The kids will be happy and confident and engaging because you are connecting with them. This also means stuff that you do at home too, like reading to them, playing games, listening, as well as taking them along when you pursue your own grown-up interests out in the wide world. But I am thinking of the latter because it can be discouragingly hard. When they are tiny, for instance, and you end up trailing a newly walking somebody up and down the museum stairs or standing outside the restaurant with a wound-up somebody else who needs to skip or cry or investigate the hydrant for an hour. Oh, it can be very tedious, even though it is worth it because what you are saying is: We can do both things! What you like and what I like too. In fact, we do that still: The kids do want to go for a bike ride with us, but especially if we bike to the good ice cream place instead of boringly off onto the endless rail trail. Check out our other post on It Does Get Easier. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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