Your undivided attention!
The reality is it is not always easy to give, but it is priceless and nothing can replace its value in your child’s life.
My daughter, at 2 years old is, of course, attached at my hip, so that’s a different story...for now anyway. However, my son now at 5.5 years old is much more capable of taking care of a lot of things on his own. Although he loves to be with you, he is more independent, which is a good thing, but nonetheless I was starting to feel as though we weren’t spending much quality time together.
Most of our time was distracted. I was helping his sister at the same time, or cooking dinner, or cleaning up and so on. And so I decided to listen to that inner whisper and created Mommy & Son 20 minutes. As it turns out, 20 minutes means the world to both of us.
Now 20 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, and it’s not, but it’s just that perfect amount of time in the evening that I can drop everything I’m doing without feeling stressed and pay totally attention to my son. Daddy distracting Little Sister is a must or she’d never go for it! Usually it is a good time for her to have a bath.
We start our 20 minutes with a secret Mommy-Son handshake. We also end with our special shake. I let my son dictate what he wants to do whether it be play, talk, or do a craft. Most of the time he wants to work on a craft or bake together, and that’s totally cool and a lot of fun for me too.
Making 20 minutes of un-distracted time together a routine and priority has made a huge difference to both of us. My son gets the undivided attention he so desperately wants and needs. Besides the fact that being with my family is my #1 priority and exactly what I’d want to be doing if I knew today was my last day on earth, it has also relieved some of the Mommy guilt. If I’m busy during the day and I don’t feel like I’m giving my son enough attention I know we will have our 20 minutes together so everything is going to be OK!
You can’t give your children anything better than your love and undivided attention. So try making it a routine, a habit. Wait until you see the joy on their face as they begin to look forward to your special time together! If you can’t do it every day, try doing it a couple times a week. Make it habitual like Mon, Wed, Fri or whatever works for you. Creating a habit makes all the difference in following through with your good intentions. Kids learn quickly they can count on you, and that you will always make time for them.
Making your kids a priority means more than just saying family is #1, it means showing your family that they are, and 20 minutes is something we can all schedule in and do! It is quality over quantity in this case, so put everything else aside and live like there is no tomorrow for those special 20 minutes. They’ll change your life, and your child’s!
What special activities do you like to do with your children? Do you have any special memories of activities you did with your parents when you were a kid?