Happy February 1st! For those of us in the midwest, we are slogging our way through Winter and feeling pretty great that we can put January behind us. For me, it’s really hard not to think of all things heart and love related during the month of February.
I am a Mommy. I have a bright, independent, CHATTY, sweet 2 year old daughter at home. I am also a 4th grade teacher. I spend 5 days a week with 23 nine and ten year olds. Needless to say, I spend a LOT of time around kids. It’s really interesting to me because, so often, parents (myself included) get caught up in the idea that we have to make the BIG GESTURE for our kids. We think we need to get them the BIG birthday present or take that AMAZING trip or go see that FABULOUS CAN’T MISS IT show. But I’ve found truly, what kids want more than anything else, is time. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Go out for a special breakfast just the two of you (no phones!)
Sometimes – especially during the summer – my daughter and I go to the local coffee shop for a bagel (for her) and avocado toast (for me). It feels special because it’s just the two of us and she knows she has my undivided attention.
Draw a picture together
Maybe the weather is crummy. Maybe you just don’t feel like getting in the car and going somewhere. If you have a kiddo that loves to be artistic, ask them if they want to draw a picture with you! Working on a common project will make your time together feel special. Pippa loves drawing and stamping on her easel. She loves it when I draw something first and then she gets to paint over it.
Play a video game with them or just watch them play and ask them to tell you about it
Do you have an older kid who can’t seem to look away from Fortnite? Ask them to tell you about it and about how it works. Watch them play! Sit with them and just…be. They may not say anything about it, but I guarantee the fact that you cared enough to sit with them for a bit (even if there’s no talking!) will mean the world.
Read a book together
Oh this is a big one in our house. We read a LOT – especially before bedtime. Sometimes just asking your kids if they want to read a story before they can ask you makes all the difference. Curl up with a cozy blanket and read a few favorites.
Play their favorite game with them
Simple as that! Grab an extra player if you need to, but make it just about them.
Give them your time and give them your attention. It doesn’t have to cost money and it doesn’t have to be elaborate. If your kids are anything like mine, they have the attention-span of a gnat and you might hop from activity to activity and never complete a single thing–THAT’S OK. This is really one of those situations where it’s the thought that counts 🙂 Your kids just want… you. You without your mind on something else. You without your phone. You. Yes, even if that means there is a half stirred bowl of cupcake batter left on the countertop and an unfinished game of Candyland on the coffee table.