Learning how to enjoy your kids more is about knowing when to stop and re-evaluate how you are spending those precious moments in your day.
How To Enjoy Your Kids More
Have you ever gone to bed and thought, man I should have slowed down today I barely got to hang out with the kids?
I’m raising my hand high over here! Guilty as charged! We don’t mean to do this; it’s just something that happens. Life gets busy, or at least we tell ourselves this all day long.
It happens when we are running around like chickens with our heads cut-offs and not being intentional on the things we are adding to our daily tasks or calendar.
As a mom who is guilty of doing this, I’m telling you, my friends, we need to stop doing this.
Moms need to begin having a morning routine in which not only gets their energy, mindset, and emotions ready for the day, but it allows us to see a glimpse of how our day will be. Creating those intentional moments in between with our kids.
Be intentional in what you want your day to look like, and because you have done the mindset part of it, being present with your kids throughout the day will become more comfortable and easier.
I also want to point out that being present and enjoying my kids is something I found myself not doing during our regular life and before we were quarantined for COVID-19. I learned a lot about my children, my husband, and myself during those quarantined days. Why? Because I had no other choice but to slow down.
Rushing back and forth to meetings, practices, play-dates and other activities can keep you away from places that build and strengthen your relationship and enjoyment with your child.
Believe me! I know this first hand, just ask my family and friends. Slowing down was not in my vocabulary… at… all!
In fact, the busier my schedule was, made me believe I was accomplishing a lot and then at the end of the day I felt like nothing was getting done. That’s why it’s called busy, not productive.
Can I tell you something? Keeping busy is usually a way for us not to have to deal with something. Yup, I said it! Running around crazy with a busy schedule is more comfortable than facing our fears. But that’s an entire conversation on it’s own.
Look at your schedule today and see what you can delete that can wait until tomorrow or even next week. Use that time to spend with your child and intentionally plan something fun they will enjoy.
Here are some of the places that my daughters and I love to spend time together in our home. Think about some of the special places that you and your kids can enjoy some slow time together.
- Your child’s bedside where you can share a silly story or book at bedtime or listen to him share the best/worst parts of their day or what she is looking forward to tomorrow; or even watch your child sleep and dream.
- The kitchen where you can prepare a meal or bake cookies together. You can share that special family recipe that was passed down to you.
- At the kitchen table where you can play a game or share a craft project.
- The garage where you can share the experience of building or painting something together.
- The garden where you can plant and tend fruit, flowers or vegetables
Slowing down allows you to share the things your kids and you love, while opening up discussions between the two of you.
Remember, this is about slowing down and being present. So no electronics or television. How can you slow down today?
It isn’t just on television that kids say the darndest things. When we really listen to our kids we hear that they are funny, wise, insightful, compassionate, silly, happy, or sad.
My girls bedroom is next to my office and I just love listening to them play. The stories they make up with their dolls and made up characters leaves me on the floor laughing sometimes. I can even hear my husband who’s working from home in our dining room laughing at their stories.
I learned that not only is my youngest daughter hilarious, but my oldest daughter probably has a bigger imagination than I could fathom.
Open up communication with your kids and allow them to share their feelings with you. Our kids will one day hit those tween and teen years and we want to make sure that they know we are here to listen if they ever need to talk.
My point is, when we truly listen to what our kids say, do, or act we get to know their truest selves. This will come in handy when they get older and intuition will tell you they need a hug or something is wrong. What will you learn about your kids today?
Follow Your Child’s Lead
Don’t get scared, just trust me. Sure the final decision rests with you, but you don’t have to be in charge all the time. Let your kids take the lead once in a while.
Open yourself up to all sorts of possibilities by following your child in a floor game, listening to music of your child’s choosing (usually ends up as a dance competition in our house), throwing the ball around, watching a movie they love, or whatever your child likes to do.
This is one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day. We do have an evening routine that we follow, but if it’s 6 pm in the evening and it’s dinner time, and we are playing a board game, why interrupt the fun? Instead, I either pop a pizza in the oven or just push dinner back a bit. It’s no big deal.
Let them make some choices. It’ll take the decisions off your shoulder and it will make your kids feel important when it comes to making decisions for your family. How can you follow your child’s lead today?
Create Family Rituals and Traditions
Rituals and traditions help keep family relationships grounded; in fact, they are among the ties that bind and my favorite way to enjoy my kids the most.
Sharing special times with your children creates warm feelings that we can rely on during the rocky times. Traditions don’t have to be all consuming and you can keep them simple, while still having fun.
Here are just a few ideas that my family and I have incorporated into our weekly and seasonal routines.
- Friday night make your own pizza night and a movie
- Nightly bedtime stories
- Heading to the beach on the first week of summer
- Roasting marshmallows on the first cold night of the season
- Weekly spring outdoor movie nights
- Saturday family game nights
- Family meetings
- Viewing family photos or videos on birthdays
- Movie relaxing day on Sundays
- Driving around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights during the holidays with cookies and hot cocoa
Not only do rituals and traditions give children a sense of comfort, but those are usually the times to be present and enjoy your kids the most. These are the moments that you and your kids will remember the most. What new family tradition will you add this week?
Although, I shared all of these different ways you can be present and enjoy your kids more the matter of fact is that it’s going to have to be something you just start doing.
It’s as simple as walking by your child while they are reading a book and sitting beside them to listen for just a few minutes while the dryer finishes the last cycle before you need to put them away. Or allow your child to help you make dinner in the evenings without worrying about the mess they will make, instead thinking of the memories you are building with them.
What I’m trying to say is, that it doesn’t have to get complicated and don’t aim for perfection. It should be simple and go with the flow. I’m not asking you to pack your kids to Walt Disney World (although that sounds fun right now). You can start enjoying your kids more right now by just starting.
How will you be more present with your kids today?