5 Things You Can Do Today That Will Make a Difference to Your Children

5 Things You Can Do Today That Will Make a Difference to Your Children

There is a lot of pressure on moms these days.  Maybe there always has been. But it seems that social media makes it so much harder to be a mom, or at least it can make a mom feel like she just isn’t good enough. We question our methods, our instincts, our decisions. Are we doing enough? Are we overprotecting or under protecting our kids? Why isn’t my kid an honor student like so-and-so’s on Facebook. Where did I fail? Will my kids grow up lacking some necessary variable that I forgot to add to the family equation? Facing these uncertainties can make parenting downright difficult, but if we take this job one day at a time then maybe it will be more manageable. Maybe today we just focus on making today successful.

I am not a perfect parent and sometimes I fail. Sometimes, as a military wife, I have to parent alone and that can be hard. But deployment parenting has taught me a lot of life skills. One thing I have tried to do is to set a lot of short term goals because I have found that succeeding at short term goals significantly increases the likelihood that worthy goals will become long term habits.

The five actions on this list are things that I try to do regularly. Some I do daily and others I have to remind myself to do or I will forget. I challenge you to include these five things in your day today and let me know how it goes.

5 Things You Can Do Today That Will Make a Difference to Your Children (in no particular order)

    1. Put down your cell phone. Seriously. Put it down. Leave it in your purse, not your pocket. If you take the kids to the park be sure to engage with them there instead of texting with a friend. I understand that sometimes you are waiting for an important call, but do you need to stare at Instagram while you wait? Most of us have been guilty of this but it is easy to fix and we need to fix it. Do you want your child to grow up and remember you as a mom who was always on the phone? I know I don’t.
    2. Play a make believe game with them. This is so hard for me because it doesn’t come naturally. I really do not enjoy pretending to be a dragon or a princess but I do enjoy the light in my children’s eyes when I make believe with them.
    3. Go for a walk. After a long unintentional hiatus from walking, we just picked the habit up again. Once around our block is exactly a mile and that really isn’t very far. Walking around the block gives us the opportunity to chat, enjoy the weather, and even review safety rules like looking both ways and watching for snakes (a real risk here). A one mile walk with kiddos might take about 20 minutes, less than the average sitcom.
    4. Let your children help make dinner. Someday your child will have to cook dinner for his or her family. Start teaching them now – it is a gift they will later pass on to their own children. Aside from the teaching benefit, letting the kids help out in the kitchen gives you a chance to talk with your kiddos and make them feel like they are an important part of the family equation. This is especially useful for boys who often feel more inclined to talk if they are busy completing a task.
    5. Tell them you love them. Yes, I am sure they know, but tell them anyway. Tell them often.

Be the mom you want them to remember.

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Wow, such a great article! I love that someone else has a hard time playing pretend.

  2. http://Shannon says

    All great tips. Thank you for sharing these with us all.

  3. http://Debra%20Wagner says

    wow….LOVE that picture of you and J! Dont worry you are a fantastic Mom I know all Moms have the same thoughts…I did too! I loved to play make believe with you guys. You do a great job playing the parts and using different voices for the characters in the many books you read to your darlings….that is playing make believe!! It is sometimes scary to let them go from your sight to even play but that is how they learn in life. Spending time together is the best!! My favorite thing in life was being Mommy. <3 Great post Rusty

  4. http://katrina%20c. says

    Beautiful! I hate to admit that my phone does in fact interfere with my interaction with my kids more than it should. I have been trying to only use social media and such when they are asleep, or napping. It does help! Thanks for sharing!

    • How did we survive without cell phones/social media in the 1900s lol. It seems like we cannot live without them these days! Thanks for sharing.

    • me too. especially as a blogger. it took hearing one of my kids say once, that mommy doesn’t put her phone down, to change that.

  5. http://Victoria says

    Thanks for such a nice article! It’s hard being a mom and it’s nice to remember we don’t have to be perfect and small things can make a difference for a kid. I will definitely keep these in mind this week

  6. Good tips! I think we live in such a fast paced world, it is easy to get distracted. We don’t have kids but I know if we did I would totally take your advice!!!

  7. http://emily says

    Go for a walk! Yes! ANd put the cell phone down- thanks for the reminders, I need to do both!:)

  8. http://Shauna says

    Great tips. I have to remind myself to put the phone down and the laptop away. Those moments will never be replaced

  9. I LOVE this! It doesn’t take much to be an awesome mom. Just giving our kids the attention they are so desperately craving. No electronics needed.

  10. It’s amazing the different pulling away from electronics and being involved with the kids can make. Definitely agree with these. This is why we have device free days. no TV, no video games for the kids. And no computer/ tablets for Mom and dad. And we just all spend the time together.

  11. YES!!! Agree with them all, especially the phone. I try and do something with just them, with no distractions every day. It’s so important!!

  12. http://Scott says

    I would add “don’t shelter them”. The world is harsh and difficult and they need preparation.

    • I completely agree. I make home a safe and secure place but they are taught about and exposed to the world. Life skills!

  13. http://Daisy says

    I feel like my son is growing so fast. It’s unbelievable. I’m all about following this tips since I’m feeling really sensitive lately about how time is going by too quickly.

  14. “Be the mom you want them to remember”. . . that is so powerful and true. I like that you admit that playing pretend doesnt come naturally but that you do it anyway. . . we have to fake interest in what our children love or at the minimum find a way to relate, so that we can stay connected. This is hard for me at times too. What a great article.

    • Thanks! My son once told me that when he talked about certain things it seemed that I wasn’t listening… that really woke me up. I may not be interested in what they want to do, but I can still be involved!

  15. http://Pam says

    We always take family walks after dinner. Sometimes the kids complain but I know we are building family memories.

  16. Going for a walk is a great suggestion. it’s good for them & sets a healthy habit as something to be looked forward to.

  17. http://Amy%20Desrosiers says

    I think your point of putting the cell phone down is important. It can be tough but spending time with our kids is important.

  18. http://Dominique says

    We try to take a family walk every evening and my kids hear ‘I love you’ SO much! Thanks for the reminder =)

  19. What a great reminder to get our and spend time as a family. We have been going on nightly walks and really enjoying them. Such a great way to decompress together.

  20. Awww I just love your ideas! And… I know it doesn’t take much to make a difference and show kiddos you care.. life gets hectic so we need a reminder at times. Thanks 😉

  21. My kids are growing so fast that I am trying to make every moment count

  22. Tips to live by! As a mom, I couldn’t agree with these more!!!!

  23. http://Brandy says

    I can’t believe how guilty I am of number 1! It’s really been in my face this last week. I like the idea of going for a walk, my boys would enjoy it to explore and we can talk about our days.

    • The phone thing can be really bad. I know because it happens to me, too. I have been doing so much better lately! I know you can, too. 🙂

  24. It is the simple and thoughtful things they will remember. I am trying to cherish every second, but that is sometimes hard. Great tips.

  25. http://Katy%20Rawson says

    Our busy lives have taken over our lives. We need to be reminded to tune out the world and concentrate on what is really important. We know all this, of course, but a little nudge can’t hurt. Thank you.

  26. These are great tips! We often get wrapped up in our to-do lists and the chaos of the day that we let the time slip by without having meaningful engagement. Great reminders!

  27. There are so incredibly many distractions these days. It’s really hard to avoid them and really be engaged with my littles.

  28. http://Kathleen%20Garber says

    GREAT post. I immediately stumbled and pinned it because I liked it so much. I know so many moms who are ALWAYS on their phones. I keep thinking to myself, put down your phone and pay attention to your child!

  29. So true. The phone has become one of our biggest evils!! I love the quote!

  30. “Go for a walk.” <<< Definitely. I swear my niece is just like my dog… she gets so excited when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk. The two of them together? Watch out!

  31. I feel lucky that social media and blogging weren’t around when I was raising the kids. I was totally focused on them with no distractions. I can’t imagine the push-pull today’s moms feel.

  32. http://Kristin%20Wheeler%20(@MamaLuvsBooks) says

    These are great and OH SO EASY to do! If you just make an effort to do so! Means so much to them!

  33. http://Ronald%20G says

    I am only helping raise my friends daughter but i sure wish I had read this long ago

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