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As I sat in the hospital room feeling bored and a little depressed, I looked over at my son and realized he looked even more bored and frustrated than I. I realized I was not only making myself more miserable by indulging in self pity but I was also sending the wrong signal to my son. By exhibiting that gloomy attitude and unhappiness, I was transferring that negative energy of depression to him.

I stood up and walked over trying to think up something fun to say to him to make him more lively and also brighten up the atmosphere.

“Hey sweetheart, do you still have that soft ball?" I asked him "Want to do some throwing?” I added.

I had purchased a little softball for him from the hospital gift shop some days back. I had bought it to cheer him up but obviously just holding the ball wasn’t doing the trick. That was not enough. I guess the ball needed to be played.

Immediately I asked him if he wanted to play the softball, his whole countenance changed. It was like magic. It was as if a genie just came out of nowhere and disposed all of the world’s happiness on him. The smile that immediately took over his sad countenance was amazing to behold. Seeing him look so happy did a lot to me also. It made me so happy and immediately we both had a sense of purpose.

You can turn your youngsters sick days into a fulfilled day. It is just surprising and amazing how a little bit of your time can make a difference in your child’s life. You can make those gloomy days fun by engaging in fun activities together with them.

There is a popular saying that “A body in motion remains in motion”. So get up and do something creative on sick days. I have compiled a list of fun things that you could do.

If you live in a place like Minnesota where it gets so cold this can also work on those Winter days when you are stuck indoors and you just want to do something fun.

So here are examples from experience of activities that I have come to realize works like magic. You can even get more creative and think of more fun things to do in addition to the list below.

1. Movie Time: Spend time watching movies together. Usually we have set times for when our kids can watch movies. We give them time limits also but according to a friend recently, for being so sick, that child deserves some nice things and making a one time exception to the rule should be just fine.

2. Reading Time: You can read together taking turns to read sections or chapters which makes it more engaging. This can take the mind away from being so sick or gloomy.

3. Game Time: With the current wave of video games in our contemporary society, it probably would be the number one thing that comes to mind when thinking of a fun thing to do. There are lots of games out there that allows for multiple players so you can play with your child or you can even have the whole family come together to play. When the whole family comes together to play use precaution in order to prevent the spread of illness.

4. Exercise Time: This is something that I do with my kids all the time because I make it fun for them. Initially when I do exercise in the house, my kids just used to watch me or even ignore me but with time I realized I could help them live a healthier life by involving them and making it more fun. I decided to introduce some music and incentives and the response was great. A little bit of stretches on those winter days or when you are in the hospital can be made fun. You can see who can stay the longest in a particular position and give out incentives like a big hug or kiss.

5. Dance time: Dancing is a lot of fun. You don’t have to be a professional to dance in the privacy of your home or hospital room. Dancing has a lot of benefits for the body also according to medical experts. It improves the heart and lungs condition and it also helps in weight management among other benefits.

6. Coloring time: I was at the store recently and I saw a coloring book on the shelf and on a closer look l realized it was for adults. Before then I did not think that adults use coloring books. The coloring book was designed to help adults in meditation and relaxation and it made lots of sense to me and I invested in one that I use now. Okay back to our youngsters, we can do some coloring with our sick child to keep them occupied. Sometimes doing the coloring together makes a lot of difference.

7. Art & Craft Time: Get creative with your child as you explore different types of craft ideas. It does not only keep you occupied but it also helps your child’s fine motor skills and cognitive abilities.

8. Toys, toys and more toys: Our children can’t have enough toys. This is how it goes: You get them a toy and then that advert comes on the TV screen of a new and more interesting toy, then you are at the “I want that” zone again. You can take time to get to know your children’s toys. You will be amazed at how much they have to tell you about that little princess doll, or that little motor car. This could deviate their minds from their current state of being sick.

9. The joy that music brings: Music itself is beautiful. At times, just putting everything away and just lying there listening to that music puts you in a better state of mind. Music as they say is food to the soul. Just as it is beneficial to adults, it goes a long way in bringing calm and happiness to your child. This would be a good option when our youngsters are so sick to even get up from the bed. You can lie there together and enjoy the music.

10. Don’t forget to pray: You can turn that boring moments into a time of meditation and sharing of stories with your youngsters. There are lots of stories about God healing people and a little bit of encouragement would go a long way in reinforcing not only your child’s belief but it would give them a sense of hope.•


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