Before bedtime tonight, my boys were squirrelly. They weren’t able to play alone or get along. They were begging for me. Determined to get my attention no matter what I needed to get done.
We all have those times. Trying to get out the door in the morning. Getting home and needing to start dinner. Our kids need one thing and we have a zillion things we need to do too. So what do you do?
I’ve found that there is power in starting periods of time that you need to get something done with 15 minutes of dedicated uninterrupted time with your kids. It makes all the difference. In the morning that can look like 15 minutes of cuddles (even if that means 15 minutes of less sleep). During the day when I have things to get done or a meal to cook, that is typically getting down on the floor with them and engaging in child directed play. Or like tonight, running around outside and playing monster before we start the routines of bedtime. It meets their need and that short amount of time, frequently means I can use the rest of that hour to get things done.
Genuine connection for short increments throughout the day helps our kids feel safe and connected. It helps them regulate and gets them settled into play so they can continue playing on their own. It also slows down my “rush rush rush” and creates a different energy in our home. Leading to a more peaceful dinner prep, out the door routine, or whatever your time of day is that you can’t seem to get 5 seconds into a task before your little ones need you.
So next time you are about to pull your hair out, try just pausing and giving the 15 minutes of undivided attention. See if it sets your day on a different path.