Are you a mother who’s always busy? With your career, business, volunteer job or freelance work? If you are, then you may not have enough time for your kids.
Even if you are a full-time mom who stays at home, you may not be spending quality time with them. What with all the household chores to keep you busy and make you tired at the end of the day, it’s no wonder that you may not notice your kids like you used to.
It’s true that you are always there to attend to their everyday needs. But after preparing breakfast, cleaning the house, going to the market, cooking lunch and dinner, washing the dishes, putting the kids to bed, and then finally, making sure that everything is okay before you go to bed yourself, are you sure that you really saw your kids?
I mean, did you really spend even a few minutes with them? Did you answer their questions with patience and sincerity, or did you just brush them off because you were busy with housework? Did you notice what games they were playing, or did you just tell them to clear up their mess? Have you any idea of what their favorite TV shows are, or do you just order them to turn off the TV when it’s meal time or bedtime?
When was the last time you sat down and had a heart-to-heart talk with them?
You may know their favorite foods, their favorite toys, even their favorite cartoon characters; but do you know when they are lonely? Or when they are happy? Or can you sense if they want to tell you something? Because that’s what part of parenting is, knowing your kids’ needs, sometimes even before they tell you. We all know that kids will only be kids for a short time. Before we know it, they are teens, then grown-ups. And during the teen years, they have a world of their own, where we parents are outsiders.
Let’s take the opportunity to know them while we still can. After all, it will be too late to catch up with them when they become young adults.
Take the time to sit down and relax with your kids; ask them about their day in school, about their friends, show interest in their activities. In return, tell them about your day. Relate to them your own childhood experiences. Teach them your favorite game as a kid. Play with them, laugh with them, just enjoy the moment.
While doing so, as an added benefit you’ll realize that, as you rediscover you kids, you are rediscovering your own childhood. Ask them real questions. Not just “How was your day?” but “What was the hardest thing you’ve had to do in school? What’ the best moment you’ve ever had with a friend?” The more specific you can get, the better. (Try to avoid the questions where they can brush you off with a “good”; “fine”; “yes”; or “no.”)
Make time to really talk with your kids — you won’t ever regret it.