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Need ideas and book recs for noncustodial parent

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm asking for a friend who has her dd's (10 and 11yo) one day a week. She needs ideas on fun things to do with her dd's when they are there (they declare most things "boring!!"). What types of activities are, in general, enjoyed by girls of that age?

Also, I'd like to be able to recommend some books on discipline, that would be relevant to her situation. I already recommended How to Talk So Kids Will Listen..., and Loving Your Child Is Not Enough (both based on the same ideas). She needs ideas on how to deal with hitting, saying mean things, slamming doors, etc. I think she'd do well learning that setting/enforcing boundaries does not equal being mean, kwim?

I know it's "different" for a mother to be a non-custodial parent, but there's a long history that I will not go into.
post #2 of 7
Baking can be fun, scrapbooking (their own pictures will add a personal interest), going to a big city for a day is always a hit over here, playing video games altogether can be fun.

I would always start with something that the kids want to do. They must have something that appeals to them, so I'd use that as a starting point, and work from there.

Being a stepmom myself, I know exactly where your friend is coming from. Discipline would be much easier if the kids' dad would take over the tough job of dealing with drama for a while. The last thing in the world dsd wants to do is to admit that I have a point. Now, if it's coming from her dad, she might actually consider it.

Good luck to your friend!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'll pass along those ideas. I have a feeling (after getting more info) that it's deeper than finding my friends activities boring. Hopefully, if they can get involved in brainstorming some ideas, they will be more likely to have fun. My friend is trying so hard to help her girls, and to enjoy their time together.

Any one else have book recs, or other ideas for fun stuff for preteen girls? I think it would help if my friend has a bunch of ideas to pull from for their brainstorming.
post #4 of 7
How about getting them involved in coming up with ideas for dinner the evenings they're with Mom? Maybe making each of them responsible for coming up with a meal idea every other week? OR... making them come up with an idea together? OR... each week, they talk about what ingredients they'd like to try and one week they come up with a menu (and email Mom what's needed) and the next week Mom comes up with a meal based on ingredients they choose.

They could do a spin-off of "Dinner and a Movie" that they have on some cable channel... Pick a movie to rent and base a meal on it. Something that makes sense. Like.... Greek food for My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Burgers and fries for Grease.

Scrapbooking is great at those ages. Baking is also good, but she shouldn't get upset if they want to take what they baked back to Dad's. Bowling. Mini-golf. When the weather is nice - a picnic.
post #5 of 7
Museums, zoo, amusement park, bike riding, swimming, volunteering at an animal
rescue, trip to a bookstore with a coffee shop with plenty of time to browse, read and have a drink and snack. Are there any festivals going on in town that she can take them to? Places like Home Depot and Lowe's have free build-it wooden project days once a month for kids. Craft stores have classes and events you can sign up for. Toys r Us has free Lego events on occasion. Pull out some paint and get some paper and canvases or wooden boxes and let everyone paint tk their heart'sdesire. Board games are a huge hit around here. You can always take one along with you to a coffee shop and enjoy hot chocolates while you play. See if you can't find a coffee shop with some live music or an open mike night (Barnes and Noble does this sometimes).
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Great ideas! I'm excited to share these- there HAS to be something in there they'd like!
post #7 of 7
dsd is 9 and things she has asked to do for "special time" with me which could be relevant are painting her nails, baking, going to a movie/watching a movie with popcorn, etc..

Depends on their personalities, are they a more "teen-like" 10 and 11 or still act their age? Maybe downloading music they like to play in the background to make them feel at home, taking them shopping for clothes to have there if she has the $$. Dsd enjoys making shirts with fabric markers, tie-dye, or even iron-ons etc.. Hope that helps!

ETA: Dp also reads dsd a chapter or two from the Harry Potter books every night she is here (she already read them, now they are reading together) and she really looks forward to that. Maybe the mom could do something similar with a book or even a show series if the kids would prefer so they will be excited to see/hear the next chapter when they are there.
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