We’re continuing our Women Living Well series this week with the topic of finding joy in your kids.
Summer is such a beautiful, wonderful season. Soaking up each minute and enjoying it to the fullest is one of my family goals. For my family, summers can seem to be rushed when events are scheduled back to back and we have to go with the flow since timing can’t always be in our control. For me, it’s easy to get caught up in all the logistics of who hasn’t brushed their teeth yet, which ones need an extra set of clothes “just in case”, and did I think far enough ahead on the gift or cash for parking or the passes?!
Whatever the details, many times I need to slow down and love on my children. There are moments in life where rushing and moving and going is necessary, but during those busy seasons, using this mental list of simple ways to add a little love to your child’s day can make all the difference in the memories of the day.
1. Remember to smile!
Sometimes I get so focused on the details that I forget to enjoy them. Maybe you too?
2. Give out lots of hugs.
Nothing tops getting off the roller coaster and getting a hug from Mom.
3. Be sure to hug and kiss goodbye.
My husband is such a great example for our children in this area. He is very purposeful about saying goodbye, even if it’s just for an hour to run to the store.
4. Surprise your child with a kiss on the cheek for no reason at all.
I like to do this just whenever it comes across my mind. Of course, this may be less appreciated by adolescents in public settings, but the idea is to be appropriate and yet show them how much you think of them, even in random moments. Often when the kids know I’m working on a deadline and they pass by the dining room table where I’m working, I’ll just grab them as they walk by and give them a kiss on the cheek. They typically smile and move on their way.
5. Make a favorite meal.
Nothing brings a little love to the day like make-your-own pizza dinner. For a quick crust, we will use bagels, refrigerated biscuits, or English muffins. Each child gets to choose and top with their own ingredients. We love making our own crust, but when time is a factor, we will often shortcut and this can bring a little joy to the day.
6. Carry a small game in your purse or bag as a surprise.
Times of waiting can be quickly challenging for children, whether it is in line at a game, or for food at a restaurant, or in traffic. I like to carry little treats or a game in my purse for those times when I anticipate a wait. We use the “I Spy” game quite frequently also when we are waiting.
7. Use positive words.
With 7 kiddos and often extras, I find myself barking out orders. It’s good to give commands and expect obedience, but our Heavenly Father always provides direction and rebukes us in love and grace. Check out this free Printable for 20 things to say to encourage your children! Post it on the fridge as a reminder of intentional parenting. Intentional words yield positive results.
Finding joy in my children often means being purposeful about my parenting. There are many ways to find joy in your children, but my prayer is that this short list of ways to add a little love to your child’s day provides inspiration to find joy in responding to your family, no matter the season. I love what Courtney said in her book regarding Finding Joy in your Children:
This section inspired me to be more intentional in appreciating my opportunity to parent in love. I’d love to know how this section of the book inspired you!
Which of the above-mentioned ways reminds you that finding joy in your children begins with your decision to do so?