So I realized this morning when Michael got up a little earlier that I have become “that Mom or parent” I said I wouldn’t. You know, the one who is so focused on work and getting stuff done, she is annoyed that her child is up early when she had planned to do work. Yes folks. I have succumbed. I repeatedly say to myself, my partner, and Michael that my job is flexible and I do it around Michael’s schedule, all of which is true. But of course there are also times that I need to catch up on things. Early morning or late evening are best as that is when Michael is asleep. But as I heard his little steps outside the room I was finishing my yoga in I became nervous and sad. Nervous that we would have another “fight” about my work and sad that I was thinking that I wanted to still be alone.
And that is when it hit me. Michael missed me. He missed having time to talk in the morning, share his thoughts and just be present with me. Many of our kids want this too as do parents. But how can we do it? Here are some ways that have worked in our family and in families I personally know:
- Have talk time set aside for each child with each parent at home or at a special place you go everyday: Michael has his morning time with me and evening with Dad. In families where there are two or more children, it’s obviously more complicated. Friends of mine “trade off” time with kids, and sometimes as in the case of three or four kids parents will each take two kids out and do a common activity that both kids like.
- Spend time talking or being available to listen in the car: This was when I had all my best chats with my Dad as did my brother, while he drove us to activities. My Mom was a stay and work at home parent who worked around our schedules so we would talk to her after school.
- Put aside one night for family stay in time: Ok, this does not always work in my house. My kid DOES NOT like to stay in, but we are working on doing a family stay in movie night, maybe board game night etc.
- Make a parent/child night or day out tradition once a month: This is one I don’t do as having one child makes it easy for Dad and I to have our alone and together time as a family with Michael, but I have friends that swear by this, Mother/Daughter movie night, pizza night out, book club etc. Go for it. Your child will love it.
- Cuddling up at bedtime: This is my favorite time with Michael. He has always been nervous in the evenings and at bedtime. He loves the calm predictable routine of story, Qigong massage, and me tucking him in and cuddling for a little bit before leaving the room. I like it too. It reminds me of the sweet little boy he is even when he has driven me crazy during the day as I have him. 🙂
These are just a few ways you can strengthen the bond with your child or children. It will be well worth it. Kids, exceptional or not, who feel loved, cherished and supported handle stress and anxiety much better. They are resilient, and are fighters in every sense of the word.
Exceptional Parents, what suggestions do you have to add to this list? I would love to hear from you! Are you a hands on parent or does life sometimes distract you? Don’t worry if you agreed with distraction. As long as we show our kids how much we love them by being present as much as we can, the rest will slowly fall into place. Until next time.
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