Wednesday, July 31, 2013

5 Ways to Spend 15 minutes with your Children

Hi Everyone!

When I go to bed at night, I never fall asleep right away. I always spend time thinking about the day and what I want to make better about the next day. The one thing that I always realize is that I could have spent more time with my children throughout the day.  This is always a sobering realization to come to since I am, after all, a stay at home mom. I have all day to spend with them, so what happens? How is it that I wake up with all this "super mom" determination at 6:00 am and by 10:00 pm, I'm wondering where did it all go wrong?
I think the short answer is that I just let things get in the way. Some are necessary evils, such as laundry, unloading dishwasher, and other household chores. Some, however are purely selfish excuses. Crafting, blogging, television, and technology are all things that I allow to creep slowly into my day that tend to overrun it like spilled ink on a piece of paper. I will say that I don't consider my time at the gym selfish because it keeps me healthy; and above all else I want to make sure I'm around for a long time with my family. Another excuse I always tell myself, is doing stuff causes a mess (that I'm always left to clean), or it's hot outside or it would involve a trip to the store and money spent etc.
This has also been the first summer that I've not purchased summer learning workbooks for the kids. Trust me when I tell you, I won't make that mistake again! I kept thinking I'll just find some worksheets online and print them and make the kids do those. Finding free grade appropriate worksheets is not as easy as it sounds, so I gave up on that as well.
So, what have we learned so far? Well, basically that I am not in the running for awesome mom this summer. I do, however have a couple of weeks left before school starts, so I decided today to find 5 ways to spend uninterrupted quality time with my children. No mess, no money, and no fuss and there was even a little learning along the way as well:

1. Talk and Listen. This idea is so simple, many parents forget about it. I think we spend much of our time as parents directing, instructing and guiding our children down what we hope is the perfect path in life that we very seldom just sit and talk. Today, I found both of my boys at separate times and we just sat down and talked. With one I talked about school for the upcoming year and seeing old friends and meeting new ones. With the other one, we talked about the new Mario party 9 game he wants for the Wii. I know, two totally different conversations...two totally different boys! You don't have to give a life lesson each time you are with your children. Just listen to what they have to say. If they can talk to you about nothing, then they'll be more likely to talk about important things later in life.

2. Play a Silly Learning Game: It has been my experience that children like to learn as long as there is an element of fun involved in it. I wanted to do something with mine today that didn't involve a lot of set up or complicated experimenting or directions. Those sorts of activities are great, don't get me wrong; but it just wasn't what I wanted to do today. So, I found this ball (which I'm constantly kicking out of the way throughout the house) and we stood in a circle in the living room and basically played "hot potato" with it. For the learning aspect of it, I used different areas of learning.
We did math problems, say a color as fast as you can, think of a word and make a sentence, opposites and a few others as well. There was lots of smiles and giggles and most of all fun.

3.Try a New Project Together.  My oldest son received a book on how to make paper airplanes for his birthday last week. Now, I realize that for dads out there, making paper airplanes is ridiculously simple; and you would think for a paper crafting mom such as myself it would be easy to figure out as well. Not so much....let me just say, none of our airplanes looked like the ones in the book; and the general consensus was that he'd rather wait for his dad to help him! Still, it was time spent together and he learned it's ok to try something even if it doesn't work the first time.
4. Play a Board Game. This is another simple and often forgotten source of time that can be spent together. The most important thing to remember is that it's not about the game you want to play, it's about what your child wants to play. Today, we played the "Lego Race" game.

5. Laugh. This is my favorite thing to do with my children. It's those moments when you're all piled on the floor in the living room just giggling and laughing at everything and anything that I think are the times in which the best memories are made. These are the moments I hope my children look back on when they are older and know they had a happy childhood.

In the end, I'm not a perfect mom; but I'm always willing to try. Thanks for visiting me today! Until next time....

1 comment:

Shirley-Anne said...

Thank you so much for sharing your "time with the kids " experience .What a fabulous summer memory the boys will have .
Your observations about time lost in the day are so precise .

May you have many , many more days of fun and laughter with your children .
hugs Shirley-Anne

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