I think when we become parents, we spend a lot of time (well, I hope) making sure our kids know the appropriate way to act and interact. But, sometimes, we forget to follow our own framework. This isn’t a list of things for me to shake my finger at others (there are plenty of people who do that for me already) but is really for me to remind myself out loud or at least in print.
1. Listen carefully. My children have a filter that usually turns on and tunes out when I tell them about certain things. I think you all know that involves phrases like ‘bed time,’ ‘chore time,’ and ‘homework time.’ But, they have the most acute hearing from deep inside our house to hear me whispering downstairs about a movie or ice cream. So, my goal is to listen more intently to those who talk to me rather than multi-task in the brain. Everyone wants to know that you hear them. Stop, look, and listen.
2.Don’t give up. With so much going on, it’s so easy to give up on certain things, which are usually the things that keep you the sanest. With the kids, I don’t want them to give into discouragement but keep trying their hand or brain at something. When they do finally get it or succeed at it, the expression on their faces is priceless, and the rewards are often an added bonus. Same goes with me. I am putting more effort into the people and things I want to enjoy just as much as my regular laundry list of things because the rewards are spectacular.
3. Appreciate what you have. It’s hard when the boys see that their friends might have ‘stuff’ that they don’t have, but giving them everything and more wouldn’t do them an ounce of good. It’s one of the most difficult things I have to say to them and one of the least understood if the sulking is any measure of their response. That same thing goes when you are a big person. Too often, I see people trying to keep up with their friends. It’s only stuff. Get over it. I am going to focus on appreciation for those closest to me, their love and assistance, good friends, my children and my health. Everything else is not important and doesn’t deserve me pining over it.
4. You need your sleep. Yes, they do. Yes, I do. Sleep is the miracle cure for what is ailing you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I aim to nap or get more sleep because it feels so good after I do. For my kids, I tell them that because it keeps them alert and learning at school. Don’t want them missing the good stuff at school because they put their head down and drifted off. I’m the meanine that puts them to bed early. One day, they will thank me.
5. Go play outside. The kids burn off their energy and get exercise outside in the fresh air. I just saw an article recently that showed pictures of kids from the 1930s, running around outside with no shoes and the glee on their face was incredible. They looked healthy and happy. So, as someone who is a slave to their desk, I plan on taking my work outdoors more let alone leaving it behind for a bit of good ol’ running around in the sunshine. Does a body and mind good.
I know I tell them a lot more that I probably should listen to more, but this is a start…..