Kiddos: Don't Blink
Written by: Heidi Hule
Life is short. Very short. And when you have kids, it gets even shorter and you become more painfully aware of this fact. So the most important thing I’ve learned is—don’t blink.
Don’t waste one single moment of their lives, or yours, worrying about stuff you can’t change or wanting things to be different. Life is happening right now. Yes, even while you’re reading this.
I was reminded of this reality today when I watched my youngest daughter pack up all of her belongings and drive away—moving across the country and out of my world.
I know from experience with my older daughter, that this closes a chapter in our lives. From now on, our moments together will be rare and numbered, with homesickness and yearning in between.
I am comforted only in the fact that I made the most of each moment we were given to share. No one is perfect, but I made a conscious effort to stop what I was doing and give her my full attention, as often as humanly possible.
At the end of the day, what your kids really want is your undivided attention. Give it to them, it’s really that simple. How?
Put down your phone (even better, put it away), turn off the TV or computer, and decide your yard work can wait. Don’t take calls or focus on your to-do list. Otherwise, I promise you that you’ll turn around and they will be asking to borrow the car keys.
So how does this look in real life? It looks like holding your baby ANY TIME you want to, as often as you want to, and for as long as you can. They will not become spoiled or needy by this, they will soak up all of your love and attention at an early age and become a well-adjusted adult, capable of emotional attachment.
It looks like getting down on the floor and playing with your kids. No, I don’t mean sitting on the floor with them, actually watching football while they play. I mean really playing WITH them—let them explain their game to you and follow them into their fantasy world. I promise you that’s their favorite, when they can take you along for the ride.
It looks like taking your kids outside and sharing a moment with them in Nature. Kids are naturally drawn to it, and they can even show you just how much beauty it holds.
It looks like having conversations with your 4th grader about what she’s interested in, what her dreams are, who she looks up to. Don’t tell her that being a fashion designer is a silly dream, let her tell you all about it and get caught up in her enthusiasm.
There will be time later for reality checks, believe me. Childhood is the time for dreams—and believing they can come true!
No matter how old your child is, if you only knew how simple it is to make their day, you would make that your daily goal.
Heidi has been a Kindergarten teacher in the Northland for 10 years, since moving back to KC from France. She is a single mother of two daughters. One of her passions is writing, which she does every chance she gets. She has a parenting blog on her school’s website and a personal blog on Facebook. Another of her passions is helping others, and she hopes that her writing might provide insight, inspiration, or just food for thought.