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My Time – A Powerful Parenting Tool

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How one Katy mom shares her time with her children

When I first became a mom, I devoured every parenting book I could get my hands on.  I wanted to be the best mom I could be.  I wanted to parent correctly!  The more I read, the more amazed I was at the abundance of parenting theories.  From sleep to discipline to diet, there was no shortage of advice on how to raise happy, well-adjusted children.  So, I began my long journey through motherhood, daily testing the theories I had read about.  At times I felt really good about my parenting…the methods were working!  But, it seemed that just as I mastered a particular parenting technique, my child changed and I found I needed to adjust my style.  There is one parenting technique, however, that serves as a powerful tool at every stage of child rearing.  That tool is my time.

On Sunday, my seven-year old son seemed tired.  But, instead of laying down for a rest, he proceeded to go to each of his siblings, and tease them, until the sibling hollered for reprieve.  As I realized the teasing wasn’t subsiding, I stopped what I was doing and approached my son.  I knelt down by him and said, “Would you like to spend some time with me?  Go pick out some of your favorite books, and we can snuggle on the couch and read.  Or, if you would like, we can play a game.  You choose!”  My son excitedly set up a game of bean bag toss, and let me know he was ready for a game.  After about a half-an-hour of one-on-one play time, his disposition changed, and he was ready to interact appropriately with his siblings.  Just a small amount of my time had completely changed his mood!

The powerful parenting tool of time also applies to older children.  One day, my daughter came home from school and it was clear she was not in a good mood.  As I tried to talk to her, she didn’t seem to want to open up.  She seemed frustrated and I could tell something was bothering her.  Instead of pressing the issue, I asked her if she wanted to make a batch of cookies with me.  A lover of baking, she said she would like to make some cookies with me.  As we began to gather the ingredients, we talked about the summer vacation that we had planned.  We brainstormed together about what we would need to bring.  After some time, her frustrated demeanor melted and she was soon smiling and laughing with me.  Toward the end of our baking, she opened up to me and told me what was bothering her.

Though it is not always possible to drop what we are doing to give our undivided attention to a child, where possible, the results are astounding.  Children do indeed desire our time above all else.  I have found that one-on-one time is the best parenting bullet in existence!

Have you found your time to be a powerful parenting tool?  How do you connect with your children?  What one-on-one activities have proven beneficial to your relationships with your children?  Please share!

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