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I remember in elementary school Having to work on a story called The Awful No Good Very Bad Day. I am pretty sure it was based off the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. If you haven't read it, it's a story about everything that goes wrong in a day for poor Alexander. I feel like sometimes as parents we can relate. And sometimes it is hard to keep our cool and calm about us. Many times when my patience is wearing thin, or I am tired, or I'm feeling stressed or anxious. I yell. Or start barking out orders like a drill Sargent. It's like that joke for teachers when dealing with their families; Don't make me use my teacher voice on you!! It's during this time that I lose my connection with my girls. As attachment parents we don't want that.
So when today went off without a hitch and I had only done one thing differently…
I knew I was on to something. The girls spent most of today playing together with very little disagreements. Quiet time this afternoon went off without a hitch. To end the day the girls were asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows! With no fights. No whining. And no tears.
So what changed from our terrible awful no good day to today? I'll let you in on the best parenting secret ever; special time!
Special Time – Just 10 minutes a day!!
I came across some information a little while ago that changed my parenting completely. It has been proven through psychologists that ten minutes a day will change the connection with your kids completely!!
The days that I am on top of doing special time the girls are better behaved and are a lot more fun to be around. The important thing is consistency. I am going to sound like an infomercial but in as little as ten minutes you can have a changed kid.
Why ten minutes??
Our babies crave our attention. They want to know that they are just as important as the “important” stuff that goes on in our lives. So when you take ten minutes during the day to connect and to fill your babes buckets they are filled with love which in turn leads to a happier child.
How It Works:
All that is required for you as a parent during special time is to let your child lead and be with them one on one! Let your little take charge for a change!
What We Do:
The girls don't get a lot of time to be on TV or electronics. So, the girls will pick the iPad or computer usually. Other times however they choose Barbies, coloring, or helping with chores that I am in the middle of doing! Whatever they choose is up to them. But truly all that matters is that I'm fully present! It might not always be fun or interesting for me, but consistently setting aside the time to be interested and available helps develop that close bond and relationship so much!
Many times during special time Big girl will talk to me about her fears or concerns. She will tell me about the dreams she's had or the nightmares. Curly girl mostly ends up smiling and laughing a lot, which then leads to more hugs and kisses. And who doesn't want that!? And babykins, well special time with her is fun to see a mischievous personality start to blossom and develop as she dive bombs into me and then laughs hysterically.
So, Why Do It?
Our babies need our time where we aren't bombarded by electronics or technology or even jobs that steal our precious free moments. Our babes want to be included and when they are, friendships and close bonds begin to grow. When my girls feel closer to me they open up more and tell me what goes on in their lives whether it be for the good or bad. So if you want to end the bickering matches, the tattling, the sighing complete with eye rolling (big girl's favorite), and fighting to get them to do the chores; just give them your time!
Now a word of warning
When you first start doing special time they might act up for the first couple of days because they aren't used to getting the attention and want more of it. Stay consistent friend and as you do your babes will start to mellow out and become happier!
So remember. Ten minutes with one child at a time with undivided attention. Let the child take the lead. Be consistent. And there you have it friend!! A happier child in just ten minutes a day!!
Because oh puh-lease!! You've got this momma!!
Do you do special time? What are some of your favorite special time activities?