Making the Most of Ten Minute Time

Life is busy. There’s work, the kids, the household chores. There’s all the maintenance on the car, the kids clothing sizes, the keeping track of things. Then the kids get crazy. They fight. They demand things. They act out to get attention.

Phones don’t help. The time we used to spend interacting, talking, and smiling is now often spent starting down. Necks bent, thumbs tapping on the keyboard of our phones. The kids see it. They know we’re not present.

We know it too, but have excuses or just “need” to do one thing.

My twins mention how I need to get off my phone. And they’re not wrong. But I DO set it aside and pay attention to them.

They struggle with needing attention. They are always rivals for my attention. When one worries about what I said to the other, they DEMAND to know. When one gets a compliment, the other feels sad since it wasn’t said to her. How to best compensate for this?

The best tip I got from taking a Positive Parenting class was to spend time with each of my children individually. Every day of possible.

Give your children the honor of your time. They have your complete attention. They get to choose the activity. For 10 (better yet 15-20) minutes, you show them their value. You could read, you could play, you could draw or go for a walk. Sometimes we cuddle. Sometimes we play Calico critters. Sometimes we play card games. Or go for a walk. Every time we enjoy each other’s company.

This time is precious for them, and for me. They get my undivided attention. They get a break from competing with their sister for everything. They get to know my personality and my feelings. I get to remind them that I LOVE spending time with them.

Today Auttie (Autumn) and I played our own version of that pattern repeat game. She came up with it. She tapped different pictures on the wall and gave each one a sound as she tapped. Then my challenge was to remember what she did and repeat it. How brilliant. How fun. How completely organic and great to help with musicality.

Beebee (Briana) and I draw a Pomeranian puppy. We have been working our way through a video of 10 different puppies to draw. We’ve drawn poodles, westies, golden retrievers, etc. This morning she told me that when she draws, it’s like she has a video playing in her head. I find that fascinating. And so different from my own youth. But how instructional! And whatever gives your brain a way to do a process is a wonderful coping strategy.

So I’ll keep up with the 10 minute time. And extend it if possible. And remember every second I can. Because before you know it, they won’t be around to spend time with. And I’ll be left drawing puppies and making sounds all on my own.

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