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5 Ways to Enjoy Parenting More

October 25, 2013

Are you enjoying parenting? Or are you just plodding through the days, bogged down in the tedium of caring for and redirecting little ones (or bigger ones) day in and day out?

5 Ways to Enjoy Parenting More

enjoy parenting more, are you enjoying parenting, sunflower parenting, how to be a better parent, love parenting, how to enjoy being a mom, 1. Slow Down

Yeah, I know, SO much easier said than done! I too often feel like we’re always in a hurry, rushing to pick one kid up only to race to the other side of town to get another kid to a doctor or activity. With three kids all wanting to participate in sports, music, robotics and other enrichment activities, even the best laid schedules end up with some overlap. As parents, we want to provide these opportunities to our kids and allow them to explore something they’re interested in, but it’s worthwhile to strive for balance.

On the days that we have less going on, or a rainy day that cancels a sports practice (thankfully!), I savor the calm pace, the chance to leisurely cut vegetables for dinner, to chat with a child over a cup of afternoon tea. I build in at least one week day in which we have no after school activities and no set place to be. The kids can run around and play with the neighbors after their homework is done and can take a long, prune-making bath instead of a speedy shower.

I find I enjoy parenting more when we slow down. Our weekends, since no one plays soccer, are usually an oasis of slow motion, extended time in PJs, big breakfasts together and working together in the yard. We value the time to play a family game, watch a family movie or do a project together.

2. Focused Time

Every day, I check in, touch base and give focused attention to each child. Even taking a 15 minute chunk to hear about their day, to ask about friends, to ask their opinion on something, makes a big difference in connecting to your child. Connecting, in turn, helps us to enjoy parenting more. Isn’t that the whole reason we had kids in the first place – for the prospect of a special relationship.

When Okay isn’t Okay

August 6, 2012
[caption id="attachment_430" align="alignleft" width="234"]mom talking with boy, parent and son on couch, serious discussion with kids, when okay isn't okay, saying okay to kids, “Clean your room, okay?”[/caption]

About 12 years ago I read a little blurb in a parenting magazine about the one word parents shouldn’t use with their children: the word Okay. I didn’t retain the details of the article but it made sense and I consciously decided not to end my sentences with “Okay?” when speaking to our then one-year-old.

When we tell our children to do, or not do, something, then say, “Okay?” it implies that we are seeking their input or opening an invitation to discussion. If we say, “Johnny, come here,” it is much more effective than, “Johnny, come here, okay?” the simple “okay” gives Johnny a choice we never intended to give him.

In communicating with children, from very young ages, we cannot be ambiguous, we need to be succinct and specific. We’re much more likely to get the results we’re after (good listening is on every parent’s wish list) if we deliver a clear directive: “Do not touch the plant.” Even a pre-walker can understand what his parent wants. He may test you, but repeating the same, concise message with a gentle removal of his hand will teach him that you mean what you say without question.

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