As moms, we want our kids to be happy and have awesome days. But it's not always that easy. Here are 5 tips to help you make your kids' day awesome with very little work and some great "mommy time."
I don't know about you, but the days I can get through without any one melting down, having a bad day, or just being in a grumpy mood are like days that I win the lottery.
Our days are getting better as the kids get older, but like all of us, kids have off days too. As their parents, there are a few things we can do to help make their day awesome, or at least, a little better.
Here are five tips that you can do to help make your kids day better.
1. Note in lunchbox/planner
There is a reason you see so many lunchbox printables on Pinterest. They are a wonderful way to let our kids know we are thinking of them. And there isn't much that is better to a kid then when mom lets you know she cares...about you. Not about your brother or your sister. You.
So sending those fun lunchbox jokes or uplifting printables can really bring a smile to a kids face. And on a day when they may have a big assignment due, presentation to give, or test to take...it's the little things that can make the difference between just "okay" and "awesome."
But if you're like me, your kids eat lunch at school, so lunchbox notes may seem like they are out. Just get creative! What about putting your note in their backpack? A Textbook? Or how abuot a planner?
Most of my kids have to purchase planners for their school supply requirements. Once a week, I like to steal Mini Me's planner and decorate it up as a fun surprise. He loves to pull it out at school and show the other kids how fun his planner is to fill out. (Added bonus, he actually writes down all his assignments!) It puts a smile on his face (even when he's writing down homework) and I can leave little notes in the margines to make his day better.
2. Snack/Mom time after school
It doesn't matter what time your kids get home from school, it seems mine gravitate towards me and let loose on all the thoughts, activities, and events that happend at school today. It's almost like they haven't been able to talk all day and it's a gush of words all at once.
I love it.
I know as they get older, this time is rare. (Trust me, I speak from experience.) So taking a few moments and just giving them one on one time is wonderful. You can find all about the things that are going on in their lives and what is important to them.
You can spend this time just sitting on the couch talking, but I have found that having an afternoon tradition is a great way to relax and enjoy the time together. On Fridays, the kids know that I'll be in the kitchen baking cookies when they get home. It allows them to come in, pull up a bar stool and we talk while eating cookies.
Find a tradition that works for you and your kids. Have a healthy snack waiting for them and enjoy dipped carrots together at the kitchen table. Go for a walk together to get a little excerise. Or just crash on their bed and brain dump the day's happenings.
3. Dinner Time Fun
If you've been around the blog for more than a minute, you'll know I love to have family dinners. It gets harder and harder as the kids start going different directions with school, sports, and activities. So when you can get together as a family, make it fun.
Find printable conversation games to get your family talking. Play the "high/low" game where everyone tells the best thing and the worst thing that happend that day. Or put one of the kids in charge of the conversation for the night. They'll love being in charge and that will help teach them leadership skills.
Take a few moments once a month or so and have a special dinner. Whether you do it every Sunday night or on a special family night, dress up dinner. You can put a tablecloth on the table and set it with candles and a full set of silverware (am I the only one that doesn't always completely set the table? After all, how often do they need anything other than a fork?) Or go all out and dress up the table with a theme for the evening. We love to do theme dinner parties for the family with ideas like a Divergent dinner party, a Video Game dinner, and a Hocus Pocus dinner and a movie night.
Get creative or just be together. Put away your cell phone. Turn off the tv and enjoy some time as a fmily.
4. Read together at Bedtime
Now this is one that may be a little harder as the kids get older, but it's so worth the time and effort. When my kids where little, we would tuck them in to bed and I'd sit in the hall between their rooms and read to them. It kept them from jumping out of bed every few minutes and they would fall asleep very quickly.
As they got older, it became more of a one on one time. I would put my kids to bed a half hour apart and spend time with each one of them reading. We would hold interesting discussions between chapters or when something exciting or scary would happen. Recently we read, Witch and Wizard and my son and I had a talk about government and how it was our responsibility to be involved in what was happening around us. I don't beleive we would have had that talk if it weren't for our quiet time reading.
5. Be in Good Mood
Lastly, I know you've heard it before. "If momma ain't happy, nobody is happy." And that's defiitely true for our kids. They are like little magnets picking up on everything, whether we want them to or not.
To help them have a good day, we, as mom's need to have a good day. Now that's not always the easiest thing to do. But we can put our "big girl panties" on and be happy for our kids. If that means locking yourself in the closet for a few minutes, do it. If it means getting up a few minutes earlier and going to the gym, do it. Or if it means plastering on a happy face and pretending like the world is wonderful until they are out the door for school (then going back to bed), do it.
I know bedtime is the hardest time for me to fake being happy. By the end of the day, I'm worn out. Reading together is a quiet activitiy for both the kids and I where I don't have to worry about how I'm doing and whether it was a good day or not. I can let the characters react and I can cover my tiredness with their adventures. But if I can be happy during the bedtime ritual, my kids go to sleep so much easier and with a tired smile on their face.
Isn't that what we as parents strive for? I know my greatest wish and desire in life is that my kids are happy, successful, and make it back to their Father in Heaven. If I fail in everything else I do, it will be okay, because they will succeed. And that will be worth all the stress, problems, hard days, bills, and crap that comes with being a grown up.
How do you help your kids to have an awesome day?
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