We all have been there. You are immersed in your work or the household chores, and you barely look up when your four year old excitingly says “Look Mommy. Look at this.” Then you act frustrated when he has a fit an hour later.
Your brain knows he is trying to get your attention, but sometimes we just feel too stressed or overwhelmed at that very moment to stop or play with our children for fifteen minutes.
Did she say fifteen minutes? Is that all it takes?
Well, in my experience, fifteen minutes is a good place to start to find some inner peace. Just as a few minutes of attention can please a young child and a few minutes of attention can please your own soul too.
When planning out your daily schedule consider this:
Make time for your kids. It may sound cliché but children generally behave better when their needs are met. Most times, attention is their biggest need and a fifteen-minute card game can often do the trick. Not only will you benefit in the long run but you’re kids will benefit from the great job you are doing as a parent is to provide your child with attention and love!
Often we just feel overwhelmed. The “I’ll never get all this done” feeling. So we justify that we can’t possibly “play” with our kids. Instead of worrying or stressing, make a conscious decision to allow the fifteen-minute card game. If you work at home, pick out a 15 to 30 minute slot during the day, if you work away from home, set aside a slot in the early evening. Let you child know they can pick a short activity (a card game, a walk around the block, some coloring, playing catch or kicking a ball outside). Once you allow the short spell, it will become easier to enjoy those minutes!
Do the same for yourself. Schedule in a 15-30 minute time slot during the day, every day, to either exercise, read the paper, or quietly sip coffee or tea. The quiet mode pays off later when you need to focus or get laundry done.
Plan at least one fun family outing a week. It doesn’t have to cost money. Take a drive to a local park or beach; pack a picnic and head to the backyard on a blanket; visit a local playground or garden, or make Friday night “Family Movie Night”.
While at first it may seem as though you are scheduling your children in to your appointment book it may be the only way to make it happen. Once it becomes a routine, you won’t feel like you are “penciling in” your kids or some time for yourself, but instead you will realize that there is a way to live a balanced life.