It comes down to family time. Spending time with our children is so important, which is why I wanted to share these things that we never want our kids to forget.
As a mom, we have the power to impact our children’s lives in more ways than we know. If I could be any kind of Mom in the world, I would be just like my mom. I am now in my 30s and I have remembered things about my childhood that I will never forget. I want to do these things with my kids, too…
1). You always greeted them at the door when they came home
My Mom was always waiting for us when we came home from school, from a friends house, from a party. It is important to give your child your full attention when they see you after being away- let them know that you’ve missed them! Whether it be when you pick them up from preschool or daycare or if you are seeing them when they come home from school- give them your full attention. Get off of the phone, the computer, the tablet… and be all there for your child.
2). Seeing them was the best part of your day!
I try to greet our kids like my grandma greeted me when she saw me… like I had just made her day! When our kids wake up, I say “Oh, Allie! I am so happy to see you this morning! I missed you while we were sleeping!”
3). You treated them like they were important.
My parents have been married for over 35 years. I heard them enjoying each other’s company every day. They found ways to show each other that they loved one another! When my husband & I got married, my Dad said: “Remember that if it is important to one of you, it is important.” I see my parents living this every day.
4). You Prayed together at night
Our kids know that every night, we are going to sit down and say our prayers together. We read a devotional that teaches real-life stories (being kind to others, treating your sibling with respect).
5). You respected others… if you do, they will, too!
I always saw the way that my mom treated others and the way that she talked about others. It was never done negatively in front of us. She was always kind and if she had negative words to say about someone, I certainly didn’t know it.
6). You volunteered and they helped
It is so important to teach our kids to volunteer when they are young. Teach them the reason that you take meals to women that have babies or why you sent a card to that family when they had a death in the family. Let them join in.
7). You had them read to you every day & you read to them, too!
Oh yes, I could go on and on about the educational benefit of reading (trust me- it is even more important than you think!) but I want to talk about the EMOTIONAL bond that happens when you read with your child. My mom used to sit and read Little Women to me every night. Just a few pages or even a chapter. It didn’t take long, but here I sit, as an adult, remembering those moments with fondness.
8). You cooked their favorite meal on their birthday
Yes, every year on my birthday, my mom made my favorite dinner. We do this with our kids, too. We don’t go out to eat on their birthdays, instead, we stay home and have all of their favorites! They love it!
9). They got to sleep in your bed when they were sick.
Oh- sleeping in my parents’ bed when I was sick was such a treat. Add in eating mint chocolate chip ice cream in bed and I was one happy little girl… even with a high fever! I remember it so well.
That smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies, baking in the oven when your kids get home from school. There is a reason that you see it on commercials so often- because it is a happy memory.
11). They didn’t feel rushed with you
Stop being so rushed. Take a minute to let them do what they need to do. (Ex: Let them tie their own shoes even if it takes longer than when you do it.) What does it really matter if you are three minutes behind schedule? I have to remind my husband of this all the time… It’s ok if we are a few minutes late, because today… our kids came first.
12). You listened closely when they talked…
I watched an episode on Oprah once, where Maya Angelou told Oprah that one time her son brought her a picture that he had made and when he showed it to her, she didn’t give him her full attention and just said something like “its nice”.
He then took that same picture, ripped it up and threw it in the garbage can. When Maya Angelou she asked him why he did that, he said that it was because she didn’t like it because she didn’t look at it. She vowed then & there to pay attention to everything that he showed her. Our children are watching us and waiting for us to pay attention to them. To listen to them.
I always felt like I had my Mom’s full attention, and I still do. I know that if I am talking to her, she is listening. What a wonderful feeling to know that someone cares about you enough to really LISTEN
Related: “Look in my eyes when I talk”
13). You used to LAY WITH THEM every night.
When our children ask us that question… Mommy, will you lay with me? What do we normally say? “Just for a second, sweetie. I have to clean up the kitchen and start laundry and…. ”
But… Do you know what? This is when the good stuff comes out. This is when I hear all of those stories, those little details that seven-year-olds don’t tell their moms anymore. This is when our mother/son relationship becomes a ‘one day best friend’ relationship.
14). You used to get down on the floor to play with them (not just watch).
You used to play dress up, play pirates, play army guys, play princess… with your child and you enjoyed it! Don’t let them forget that. I am a play therapist– it is my job to play with other children, but I need to remember that my OWN children need playtime.
Not just “let me sit and watch you” time. They need mommy to get down on the floor or go outside and play one of these games, to just get engaged in the activity. Schedule it if you have to, but make the time and play with your kids!
15). You took the time to be intentional about being together.
We ate dinner together ALMOST every night. We didn’t care if we were eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, we were eating it together. The TV was NOT allowed to be on during mealtime because we were TALKING as a family. Sometimes you can’t eat together as a family, but you can spend this time together somewhere else- so find that time and spend it together.
16). You took an interest in THEIR interests
I can remember when I was in high school and on the homecoming court, my Mom gave me a card BEFORE the ceremony that said: “You will always be a queen in our eyes.” It has been almost 15 years and I can still see her handwriting on that card. She and my Dad have always been our biggest fans. I pray that I continue this with our own children.
When our son started reading, he really dreaded sitting down to read with me (I was a teacher and I made him read like I made my students read) You should have seen his face when he realized that I had faith in him even when he didn’t have it in himself.
Do something that they love and do it because they love it! Take their stuffed animal to work with you, teach them one of your favorite childhood games, or have a dance party! My kids love to laugh at (or with) me when I try one of the cool new dances that they teach me. 🙂
19). You supported their teacher.
Your child needs to know that you supported their teacher. This teaches them to respect authority because you did!
21). You spent a lot of one-on-one time with them.
It does not matter how many kids you have- you can spend one on one time with them. We have a ‘one-on-one-time system’ in our house that helps us to keep track of this for us and we stick to it. If we forget, our kids remind us!
Tell your daughter that she is beautiful because if she doesn’t hear this from you growing up, she will look for it somewhere else… my parents always told me (& still do). When my grandma was alive, she would call me and say “How’s my Beautiful Beck today?” I miss those words… but I remember them well.
Tell your sons that they are handsome, as well.
23). You were always so proud to be with them!
Be proud of who they are and what they do. Don’t make excuses when you go out, such as “Oh- don’t mind his outfit. He had practice today.” My mom never said this. She always just felt proud to have me with her. I want to be like this.
Display their artwork in your home. I was a teacher and took many classes about the importance of displaying their work. Hang it on your refrigerator, hang it in their bedroom, in your bedroom, in your garage (we have all of the pictures “of daddy” hanging by his workbench.) Organize their school work & artwork, but be sure to keep and display some of it, too!
My mom used to tell me that I was always good at learning when to say I’m sorry, and I tell our kids the same thing. I also tell our kids that I am sorry when I lost my temper. (Do you know what has happened? They have learned by example and are owning up to their own mistakes, as well.)
26). You never compared them to others.
They are listening. They will take it to heart. Let them remember that you never compared them. If you want to raise your child to be a leader, your child needs to you stop comparing them to other kids.
27). You were “SO MEAN!”
28). You were not their friend.
My Mom and I have a great relationship. She is truly my best friend. As a teenager, I argued with her, but needed her, all at the same time. She and my Dad set high standards and my brother and I always aimed to reach them. It pays off.
29). Generosity was displayed in your house.
I grew up watching my mom give. She gives her time, her money, her possessions- she really lives by the “what’s mine is yours” rule, especially with her family. She has been a SHINING example of what a volunteer looks like (Hospice House, Meals on Wheels, American Cancer Society, etc…) and what a mother and grandmother looks like. She is generous and I want to be just like that. I hope that by watching me, my kids will feel the same way.
30). Patience was key and you had it.
Be patient in your home. Be patient with your kids and be patient with your spouse. Kids will have tantrums- and tantrums are OK sometimes. Understand that they are kids and gently correct them and love them all the more.
31). You didn’t stress out about every little thing.
Did you know that they did a study and found that what kids want most from their parents is to see them being stress-free? You can be a stress-free mom and let your kids see you enjoying life, not worrying about it! Your kids will worry if you worry, so teach them not to ‘sweat the small stuff’
32). You didn’t clean up their messes!
Seriously, I know that you think that you are helping, but you have to STOP doing that for your kids! Teach them HOW to clean. Teach them WHEN to clean. Teach them WHERE to clean. Don’t do it for them.
33). You smiled when they were with you
My grandma used to tell me every day to just enjoy my kids. She has passed away, but her words still ring true. My mom really enjoyed being a mom- I could see it in her face, her words, her hugs… every day. I want our kids to feel that same way. I want them to remember that I enjoyed spending time with them. I loved it, I wanted to do it, I ENJOYED IT. I hope that they never forget these 33 things when they get older and have kids of their own.
Thank you for reading these and making every minute count with your own kids!
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