Have you ever had one of those days that you have a million things to do and none of your kids are cooperating with you? Busy mamas and kids who need their attention are two things that always seem to go hand in hand, right? You want to give them the attention they need, but you also have a to-do list a mile long.
One of my friends recently made the observation that when she took the time to connect with her little one, before she started tackling her to-do list for the day, it was a win-win for both parties. So I did a little test run for myself, and found that when I took the time to fill their “love tank” first, my children were overall more willing to play contently later, while I was able to get a few things done around the house.
Please don’t read this and think this is some magic formula. This is just a couple moms sharing what has worked in their homes. My kids still have days that they are stuck in Fussy-Pants-Mcgee-Mode and I just have to lay aside my to-do list. But generally speaking, this has been a very beneficial thing to add into our routine.
Not only has it allowed me to get more things done, it has given me a great opportunity to enjoy my kids every day. Here are five easy ways I like to connect with my small children…maybe you and your little ones would enjoy a few of these.
1. Create. Whether coloring, painting with water colors, or building with blocks, sit down and create something together. Taking the time to talk to them about what they are making. Some of our greatest conversations have been over scribbles and building blocks.
2. Play on the floor. Typically, I let Mr. Coppertop do this one in the evenings. Rough housing is not usually my thing. I prefer to be the resident cuddler. However, now that I’m not pregnant it is once again an option. The tickling, animal noises, kisses, and loud frivolity is instant fuel for their little tanks. (especially our son)
3. Read to them. We take time to do this just about every day. It gives them a chance to cuddle up to me, while they hear my voice reading them story after story. And my daughter is getting to the age that she can take turns reading along with me, which makes it extra special for her.
4. Make a batch of cookies. Let them pull stools over to the counter and help you measure out the ingredients and dump them into the bowl. Let them roll up their sleeves and shape the dough with their little hands. Then for the pinnacle…let them lick the beaters. Without fail, this sparks instant excitement for the enjoyment of the process, as well as, an anticipation for the upcoming cookies at snack time. 🙂
5. Play outside or go for a walk. Fresh air is good for everyone. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. Explore with them. Point out animals, leaves, rocks, and bugs. Sometimes when it’s just too cold out, we’ll sit on the back of the couch and just watch the squirrels. We give them names and dialogue for them…(which usually ends up in a fit of belly laughs because I never know what is going to come out of my kids mouths. 🙂 )
I will say, this has not only become a nice little way to make sure I’m filling their tanks but I’ve also found that it fills mine. I love these little people, and when I take the time to go into their world and and let them know I care, I feel more fulfilled as a mommy. It also makes my mundane chores feel a whole lot more meaningful.
What are some ways that you like to connect with your children? Have you found that when you invest time with them, they are more cooperative when it comes time to let you get a few things done?
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