|8 years ago we celebrated Avery's first birthday. He was such a cutie!|
Shenanigans Inc. is in full birthday party swing! Avery is having a couple of friends over today after school to celebrate his 9th birthday, and as soon as they leave, Zoe's friends are due to arrive for her birthday slumber party. Can you say C-R-A-Z-Y? Thankfully, crazy usually winds up leading to a whole whack of fun. Then Sunday, our families are coming over for another party, and when the weekend is all said and done, yours truly will be waking up Monday morning a whole year older . . . 37! 37 sounds way older than 36, and you should see the grey hair that has spontaneously erupted on my head . . . eeek! It's really happening; I am getting old. Much to my children's dismay, though, I figure I have earned every single one of those grey hairs and they are not going anywhere. I love grey hair! I think it makes people look wise, and heaven knows, I could use all the help I can get in that department.
Anyhoo . . .
If you are any good in math, then you have figured out that we have three birthdays to celebrate this weekend, which means triple the fun. Right now there are 48 cupcakes cooling on my counter, chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven and two boys, who have been up since 6 am, vibrating with excitement beside me. This could be a very long day.
Wish me luck!
Oh, and for those of you who asked to read the article I submitted to www.familyshare.com, here it is: (Like all writers, I cringed when I read it again, and I wish I could go back and rewrite it . . . eeeek!)
How to Show Love to your Children
by Krista Skov-Nielsen
As parents, we love our children. We think about them, pray for them, and work hard to serve them, but this is not enough. Our children need to feel our love and to know that we love them unconditionally. We need to be their go-to person, the person they seek to celebrate life's victories with or to find comfort and strength from when life's challenges become overwhelming or even scary. We need to be the person they go to for answers, for guidance, for validation, and for strength. Do not doubt yourself. You can be the parent your child needs you to be in order to help them navigate the ups and downs of growing up, and they will turn to you if they know you love them. Showing love to your child is very simple, and by keeping these key suggestions in mind, it can be made even easier:
·Put down the technology! This goes for both of you. It is very difficult to make meaningful connections with another person when your face is buried into a screen, checking your emails and your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. Turn off the television and the computer, and put away your phone. Then go up to your child, look them directly in the eye, and ask them how their day was. Find out what is going in their life and if there is anything they are worried about or excited about at the moment. You will be amazed by what you can learn about your child when you are completely engaged with them and truly listening to what they have to say.
·Get involved in your child's life. As a parent in today's world, you are alarmingly busy; however, in spite of the external demands placed upon you, you need to make time to become actively engaged with your child and learning a new skill together is a fun way to do this. Many organizations, such as karate and soccer clubs, offer family classes where parents and children can learn and train alongside one another. You can enrol in an art class, or a cooking class, or learn a musical instrument together. The best part about learning together is that you are placed on equal footing with your child, and they will love watching you struggle or make mistakes. Perhaps, they will even get a chance to help instruct you. Learning together will give your child a chance to see you as a person and not just an authority figure, and this new perspective will help make them feel closer to you.
·Get to know your child personally. Take note of their favourite foods, colours, games, songs, and television shows. No two kids are alike, and you need to get to know each of your children on an individual basis. Celebrate each child's strengths and never compare them to others. Children need to know they are unique and that this is what makes them special. Then, when you notice they are down or maybe having a rough day, offer to play that game with them or watch that show with them (technology is great when it does not take precedence over people), or make them their favourite supper. By taking the time to single out your child and to do something specifically for them, you are showing your child that they are special and that you truly care about them.
·Be a physical presence in your child's life as much as possible. If your schedule allows, greet them as they get off the school bus, volunteer in their classroom, be the coach of their team, or be in the audience for all their recitals, their games, and their award ceremonies. If you work and cannot be there during or after school, call them when they get home or leave a note in their lunch box to remind them you are thinking about them or to wish them luck in something going on that day. You can not be there for every moment of your child's day. In fact, children do not want you there all the time, but you can find little ways to reach out to them. There is no greater way to show love to your child than by being there for them.
·Relax and have fun with your child. Children can know you love them just by the look on your face. Lighten up. Smile. Laugh. Get excited to see them. Squeeze them. Kiss them. Get on the floor or in the dirt and play with them. Tell them you love them, over and over again. It is that simple. Your child is wonderful, and you can show them this by simply enjoying them.
As a parent in today's world, you face many challenges, but thankfully, showing love to your child is not one of them. All you have to do is unplug, get involved, get interested, be present, and have fun. You will never regret the time spent, the skills learned, the memories made and the laughs shared with your child as you make it a priority to show them how much you love them. It truly is that simple and oh, so very rewarding.