How many times do we tell our children that we’re working for them, that our long hours at work are for their future? Here’s a reminder that we already know: they don’t care. Children spell love T-I-M-E. Whenever we can, turn off the computer, put down the phone, and focus on being present in the moment. Remember, we’re all children at heart, by showing them the attention and love they deserve, we simultaneously revitalize our own souls. One day, we’ll look back at our lives and realize that spending quality time with our children was one of the best things we ever did.
While children are drawn to whatever we do with them, mothers should be mindful to share conversations and activities about things that THEY care about. They’ll join us in our interests, let’s also be considerate of theirs. Children are constantly growing, learning, and developing passions of their own. Show how much we care by spending time doing the things that they like to do!
Active Listening & Co-Creating a Value System
As we spend time with our children, are we actively tuned in and present? The times we share together should express love, safety, and security. Each quality moment a mother spends with her child is a precious opportunity to encourage them, listen to them, and help them learn.
Allow conversations to develop and flow naturally. First, hear what they have to say. Paraphrase their words to encourage them to say more; listen with an open heart and make them feel like the most special conversationalist in the world! Only after listening to their thoughts and feelings should we share our own, including WHY we feel certain ways. As we plant the seeds of a value system, it is so important that we offer children ample opportunities to share their thoughts; we may learn as much from them as they do from us.
This active listening allows us to provide feedback tailored to their specific hopes, dreams, and ideals, co-developing values that have far more staying power than values that are force-fed, dictated, or lectured.
By spending quality time with our children, we help them they feel safer and more secure. This time we spend with them, used intelligently, helps them establish the framework for self-regulation. As they get older, they’ll be more likely to rely on their value system for self-regulation—rather than bouncing to the beat of the pleasure drum of video games, social media, sex, drugs, and/or alcohol.
They won’t remember the presents, but they will cherish the times we spent together. The most effective and truest way for our children to know we love them is to spend quality time with them. Time just sitting with them, reading with them, laughing with them, listening to them, playing their silly games. These are the things THEY will remember; these are the things WE will remember.
“Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”” —Mark 9:36-37 NLT
Philippa Perry’s sane, sage, and judgement-free advice is an essential resource on how to have the best possible relationships with the people who matter to you most.
A summer with no scheduled activities at all… tempting, but was it possible? It would be like something out of the 1950s. Could they really have a summer like that?
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.