It’s the little things that are big things to kids. But as parents, sometimes we can tend to focus too much on the big picture, on the possibilities, on the future.
There is a famous poem that makes me tear up every time I read it:
“If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again” by Diana Loomans
If I had my child to raise over again,
I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less, and know to care more.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I’d run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.
It matters not whether my child is big or small,
From this day forth, I’ll cherish it all.
The poem really makes me reflect on how I want to help shape my children’s memories, and who I want to be when I’m with them. What do you remember about your own parents? What are the activities, sounds, smells and tastes that bring your favourite childhood memories back?
I remember rolling down the hill outside our house with my sister, listening to audio stories (back then on the tape player!) while playing with clay, freshly baked desserts after dinner, and my dad reading to me before bedtime…
These are the types of activities that get forgotten when we are overscheduled, overworked, and spend too much time on our devices. Often it’s the simple things, the little things that kids cherish and will hold onto in years to come.
I have put together a list of top five things I love doing with my kids, to remind myself of what to focus on when it comes to spending time and making memories with them. Connected parenting is not about making something look Pinterest-worthy or going over-the-top to entertain the kids, and more about getting down the basics and enjoying life together.
Here are the top five ways I’m trying to make the most of childhood/parenthood while I still have the chance:
#1 Go outside.
Nature is good for everyone. Being out in the fresh air, soaking in Vitamin D from the sun, and appreciating the earth’s incredible beauty. There are so many things to do outside, too… from hiking to kicking a ball around to searching for treasures to watching the clouds float by. Thanks to Micro, I now have an adult scooter to ride, and it has been a hit during our family’s outside time! My boys absolutely love that I am trying out something they enjoy doing. They have been scooter lovers for years now and, since I never had one growing up, I had actually never given it a go! It is so much fun to explore new places and get active together, I highly recommend getting one if you want to enjoy some scooting adventures with your kids.
#2 Listen to music/audio stories.
Music can really cheer me up (and relieve stress!), and from experience I have learned that it makes a difference to everyone else in my family to play uplifting songs that we can sing along or dance along to. We also love listening to audio stories and guided meditation CDs. Everyone always feels better (and more connected) after we listen together.
#3 Get creative.
I’m not an especially crafty person, but I do enjoy making things and sharing creative experiences with my children. Using whatever craft supplies we have at home and occasionally enjoying a craft kit from the shop gives us a really fun way to make memories together. Whether we are cutting paper snowflakes or drawing mandalas with sidewalk chalk, just being free and creative is what it’s all about. I love to see what my kids make and how much joy it brings them.
Measuring ingredients, pouring, mixing, and spooning out… waiting for the timer to go off… and taking out a perfectly yummy dish out of the oven. Baking is simply magical! I remember looking up to my own mother and being awed by what she could create in the kitchen, and it is amazing to experience being on the other side of those eyes now that I am the parent my kids are looking up to. I’m not a master baker by any means, but I know my kids’ favourite recipes and it is really special to be able to provide a delicious treat we can make and enjoy together.
From board books to storybooks to chapter books, reading is relaxing and educational at the same time – what more could parents want! At the end of the day, I want to inspire my kids to feel connected to me and know that I care about their interests, and reading together ticks easily both the boxes.
What would you add to the list? What are your favourite childhood memories that you want to relive with your own kids?
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I was sent a scooter from Microscooter in order to review it. All opinions are my own. To read more about sponsorship on my website, visit this page.