Connection Creates Cooperation.
Therefore, when your kids feel connected to you, they are going to want to cooperate with you. And that makes your life – and theirs – so much more enjoyable! Here are 5 ways to enjoy life with your kids.
#1 Feeling Grateful
Some days it is easy to wake up, leisurely stretch, think about the gloriously uncomplicated day ahead, and thank God for this moment in time. Some days it is NOT so easy: You wake up with a crick in your neck, your bedclothes all bundled and twisted around you uncomfortably, you have to pee and your husband is already in the bathroom! Sigh. It’s those days when having a grateful heart is more important than ever. Look, things might be pretty crappy in the world right now BUT, if you are reading this, you are still alive: That means YOU still have purpose here!
If you focus on what is missing, wrong, or not good enough – THAT is all you are going to see, feel, and believe! BUT, if you can pivot your attention to what you DO have, what is good, right, true, and beautiful…THEN you can see and feel and believe THAT! Check out the Mom Minute about this: See the Best. And which would you rather have, really? As an added bonus, when your children see and hear you being grateful for what IS (rather than grumpy over what is NOT), then they will have an easier time doing the same! A friend of mine created this 30 day Gratitude Challenge Journal (get your free copy here). It can really help change your focus!
#2 Being Present in the Moment
You cannot give what you do not have. And it all starts with your PRESENCE. This simply means bringing your mind to where your body is right now. The word mindfulness has been thrown around a lot lately, but its importance cannot be overstated. For a quick explanation on how mindfulness helps your parenting, click here.
You must recognize that when you are looking at your phone while having a conversation with your kids, you are not present with them. And this hurts your connection with them. When your connection with your children is weak, it affects their desire to cooperate with you (Connection Creates Cooperation). This starts with you being present in the moment that is.
Here are three verses that can help you stay present in this moment – rather than worrying about what should be or could be or might be:
- “Be still, and know that I am God…I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
- He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2
- “…Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself…” Matthew 6:34
#3 Identifying Your Emotions
Sometimes you may get all caught up in asking WHY you feel this way or that way – which isn’t necessarily unimportant, but FIRST you need to identify your emotions without ‘judging” yourself.
You can recognize that you are judging if you find yourself thinking something like this:
“Why do I feel sad? There’s nothing to feel sad about!”
“I shouldn’t be feeling grumpy right now – I have everything I need!”
“I am angry but I shouldn’t be. There’s just no reason for it!”
Spend some quiet time breathing in and out and searching for words that describe your feelings right now in this moment. Start with just a two-minute-moment each day and work up to doing this several times a day. Why not start right now?
Read through this list and see what “fits” you in this moment you’re in right now:
- ANGRY & APATHETIC – annoyed – aggravated – appalled – bitter – crabby – critical – disgusted – detached – frustrated – impatient – indifferent – irritated – livid – offended – resentful – sarcastic
- SHAME & GUILT – awkward – embarrassed – disgraced – humiliated – intimidated – mortified – regretful – remorseful – self-conscious – sheepish – speechless – withdrawn
- FEAR, ANXIETY & PANIC – alert – cautious – concerned – confused – edgy – indecisive – insecure – nervous – rattled – shocked – suspicious – timid – uneasy – watchful – worried
- JEALOUSY & ENVY – covetous – demanding – desirous – disbelieving – distrustful – gluttonous – greedy – insecure – jealous – possessive – protective – resentful – suspicious
- HAPPINESS & JOY -blissful – cheerful – confident – delighted – encouraged – excited – exhilarated – friendly – giddy – hopeful – lively – optimistic – peaceful – playful – pleased – satisfied
- SADNESS & GRIEF – anguished – bereaved – bleak – contemplative – disappointed – disconnected – discouraged – heartbroken – hopeless – inconsolable – listless – low – weepy
- DEPRESSION – agonized – bleak – crushed – devastated – discouraged – disinterested – drained – empty – flat – helpless – isolated – lethargic – miserable – pessimistic – worthless
If you are wondering why this matters, I’ll give you an example: The other day one of my boys was acting short and grumpy with everyone in the house – even the dog. When I noticed this, I said, “You seem to be feeling grumpy?” He said, “Yeah. . . No. . . I don’t know!” So, I gave him this list and some quiet time to encourage deep breathing and figuring out how he was feeling. Wanna know what he came back saying? He was feeling scared! Scared of what was happening the world. Scared of not having enough or people getting all crazy, or us losing our jobs and income.
You see, it would have been “easy” to just write his grumpiness off as a bad attitude, but by him identifying his REAL emotions, we could see what was ACTUALLY driving his behavior – fear – and then we could pray through it together. We often resist identifying our emotions, but once we do, it could actually relieve the distress we have over having that emotion in the first place! How is this going for you in your home?
#4 Having a Sense of Humor
If you use social media, you have seen your share of the scary news and hopefully the funny memes and videos that are out as well. It’s OK to laugh, you know! Keeping our sense of humor is so important to staying present in the moment. Laughing is good for your brain as it gives you more oxygen! Here’s some funny ones that you may have seen during the Pandemic:
- I’ve eaten 11 meals and taken 5 naps and it’s still today.
- 30 days has September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31…except March which has 172.
- I hope the weather tomorrow is good for my trip to Puerto Backyardo. I am getting tired of Los Living Room.
- Anyone not eating carbs during this pandemic is most likely a psychopath.
- Now that I’ve lived during a plague, I get why so many Renaissance paintings are of chubby women laying around with their boobs out.
Please, comment with some of your favorites! I’d like to enjoy a laugh with you!
#5 Getting Fresh Air & Exercise
Whether you are an exercise fanatic (not at all), a couch potato (maybe a little), or something in between (yeah, that’s me!), getting outside and moving your body is SO important! If you have little ones, toss them in a stroller and get walking around the block. If you have older ones, you can walk and they can scoot or bike beside you…or just lock them in the house and YOU get walking around the block!
Just get outside – even if you’re in an area where it’s cold and snowy – Just. Get. Outside. You may be feeling so yucky (real technical), until the dog wears you down with those puppy dog eyes and you take him for a walk. How did you feel when you got back? Did you have a brand new attitude? Try it! You could maybe even walk or ride bikes with friends. Just get outside and share in the comments how it goes for you!
ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you’re in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them! For quick, helpful parenting videos, find “Kate Connects” on YouTube or join our Facebook group to find encouraging supportive moms struggling through it all together!