This past weekend with just my oldest daughter and me was honestly life changing. Our relationship is sometimes hit or miss. And because of that sometimes I forget how awesome of a kid she is. Truly extraordinary.
In the last three days I think I learned a few things from my daughter that will help me be a better mom to her. And in turn be a better mom to all my kids. It is amazing what you can hear from you kids when you slow down and listen.
- Say yes more than you say no: Yes, responsible parenting dictates that you often have to say no. But how often do you say no when you very easily could say yes. And how often do you say no because it inconveniences you when what you child is truly asking for underneath their request is that you spend time with them. It might look like they are asking to make a mess of your newly cleaned house with their playdoh but really they just want to play with you. And while you are at it throw in a little surprise. So yeah, they are probably already surprised by the fact you didn’t put up a fight when they asked to get out the playdoh, but surprise them again. This time with something YOU came up with. For us this weekend, it was pizza and movies snuggled in bed. Granted it is easy to have pizza in bed when you know you don’t have to clean up after. But still. It felt good to say yes.
- Give them each one on one time: I try and do this. Silas gets a lot of me because he is home with me all the time. Hannah gets a decent amount of me because she is home two days a week from school. But Lily just gets me on our crazy weekends. I think sometimes our kids are so desperate for our attention they really don’t care how they get it. Good, bad or ugly. At one point in the weekend when the bloggers and the kids were supposed to separate Lily started being kind of clingy which is very uncharacteristic of her. When I asked her about it she told me “I just never get you all to myself.” Let your kids have you all to themselves. Without double dating with your cell phone and their Nintendo DS.
- Tell them how awesome they are: Not because they have a good report card or a great goal in soccer or make their bed without asking. Tell them they are awesome just because they are. No strings attached, nothing asked in return, Just plain awesome. Then watch their eyes light up and their spine stand a little straighter.
Just three. Not ten. Not even five. I think we are up to the task. Don’t you?