My top 5
What am I going to do this summer? What are you doing this summer?
Summer what summer? We haven't even had spring yet!!
The kids have 1 more week and they're out for summer - I haven't even complained about all the snow and rain and fog but was hit on the head with the realization that it is summer - HUH?
Recently I decided to clean up my mouth and language but decided to broaden it to my top 5 things I need to work on....
Number 1 FAMILY RELATIONS
Number 2 SPIRITUALITY
Number 3 LETS GET PHYSICAL!
Number 4 FOOD!!!
Number 5 Rest and Relaxation
I wanted family to be first. Top Priority. We get so busy that we tend to ignore each other. How can I still get everything done and still have time for my kids and my husband? Well the house ALWAYS needs to be cleaned and I DO want to prepare my children to be self suficient.... soooooo, Work together while cleaning! It takes longer to clean the toilet and unload the dishwasher when you are teaching a child to do it or letting them help you do it. But it enables you to talk and listen and communicate with each other. That is priceless. And it hardly feels like work when you are enjoying each other. For that child that refuses to do any type of chore...make it a game and say I want to spend time with you. You help me do this and when we are done we will do something that you want to do with me! You may have to get creative...I'll let you know how this one pans out for me. Anything you do - try to involve the kids - shopping, gardening, cleaning, laundry, cooking.....
We have been taking our kids on dates. Daddy time. Mommy time. One at a time. My kids love it. Put everything else out of your mind and focus on that child. Observe their reactions, their likes and dislikes, engage them in conversations and develop a trust level where they feel safe to tell you about anything knowing that you will not judge them or react to how they are feeling. I have found that my children behave and act differently by themselves when they do not have siblings around and they have your undivided attention. Their personalites really shine.
Don't forget about Daddy! Dates with your spouse is a must! Even if you hide on the front porch by yourselves for a few minutes. Find the time. Laugh - court one another. Hold hands and KISS!!
Speaking of kissing...hug and kiss your family members as often as possible. Even a hand on a shoulder, pat on the back or a love tap!
Darrel and I have been practicing NOT REACTING to our kids. We have been trying to observe their behaviors and tantrums and turning it into a teaching moment. It's so easy to yell and make threats and hand out time outs. It takes work to disect the problem and talk about feelings and help the kids realize what triggered the outburst. Parenting is a lot of work! We tell our kids that we are learning right along with them and just because we are older doesn't mean that we know everything.
That's all for now...I'll have Part two on Spirituality for you tomorrow!
another thought completed by Messy Jess