Make The Most Of These Amazing Experiences With Your Kids Before They Grow Up

Kids aren't kids for long. That's just the reality of childhood. But as a parent, you shouldn't just accept it. Make sure to take advantage of every moment before they hit those hormonal teenage years and start ignoring you. (Don't worry, they grow out of that...eventually.)

We've joined with American Express to help you make the most of the everyday moments in your child's life. Here are 15 things you need to do ASAP before they grow up. So what are you waiting for? Go find them and start checking things off this list.

Take Them Into The Voting Booth
Voting is one of the most important parts of our democracy. By teaching your kids about their civic duty early on, you'll position voting as something they should be looking forward to as adults. So invite them into the booth, and because stickers make everything awesome, let them wear your "I voted" badge.
Teach Them About Their Heritage
It's crucial that we all understand where we came from, whether your family grew up across the ocean or across the street. Ask their grandparents to help out and they will have treasured stories and traditions to pass on to their own children one day.
Read Them A Story Every Night ... And Don't Forget The Funny Voices
In today's age of constant technological distractions, it's important to instill a love of reading in your child. Let them pick out the book, and don't be afraid to make it a real performance: voices, gestures, the whole bit. By bringing the narrative to life, you'll help your growing kids to think of reading as a joy, not a chore.
Teach Them How To Play A Sport
Just ask our current First Lady: It benefits the whole family to stay active. By teaching your kids how to play your favorite sport, you'll have a great excuse to bond with them for years to come ... especially during those difficult teenage years.
Make Bath Time Fun
It's a fact of life: kids get dirty. Make bath time fun by drawing them a bubble bath filled with toys.
Teach Them One Of Your Hobbies
Whether it's knitting, gardening, collecting stamps, playing football or jogging, show them that there is more to life than looking at a screen.
Make Some Music Together
Make your kids into well-rounded little humans by teaching them a musical instrument. If you're not musically inclined, look to a local school or university for references to qualified, reliable instructors. Reading music has been said to help improve intelligence in children, so it always pays to start early.
Take Them Out For A "Grown Up" Dinner
Throw on a nice outfit and dine in style with your kids. Show them which utensils to use, how to order politely, how to pass and serve food and other "adult" skills. Not only will your kids feel special -- like real grown-ups! -- but also, the manners they learn will stick with them forever. (Note: You might want to try a test run at home for the younger ones.)
Make Sure You Help Them With Their Homework, But Don't Do It For Them
Show younger children the importance of a good work ethic by sitting and helping them complete their nightly homework. By being clued into their workload, you'll better understand any struggles they have at school. Although we know every kid tires of the question, "How was school?" this is also a great opportunity to discuss anything that's going on at school beyond the classroom.
Bring Them To Work With You
Show them where you spend your day and what you do there. Not only will this give your kids a window into your life when they're at school, but it could also help build their work ethic down the line. Take advantage of a school day off, introduce them to your coworkers and encourage them to dream big.
Teach Them A Life Skill, Like Changing A Tire Or Sewing
Keep them safe and resourceful by showing them skills like changing a tire, sewing or fixing things around the house. They'll certainly thank you later, and you'll save yourself a frantic phone call down the road.
Style Their Hair In Cool New Ways
Show them about good grooming by making regular "appointments" with them to style their hair. It can be a trial-and-error process, but it's a great way to teach kids how to handle their hair, encourage self-esteem and sneak in some bonding time.
Let Them Help You Cook
Cooking is another life skill children can take with them through the years. Let them join you in the kitchen as your "little helper" while you prepare meals for your family. Make sure you show them how to clean up the mess, too.
Take Them To The Park All Year Round
Play outside with them, especially in the summer. And when it's not summer, bundle them up and do the same. Plan picnics and playdates and set up games for them in your local park.

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