Our house is the childrens' home as well as ours, sure we'd like to have the house pristine and everything in it's place but hey there will be years of that ahead of us when the children are bigger and don't have lots of toys to clutter up the place, and when they are bigger still and we rarely see them because they are out with their friends. Childhood is such a short time, don't let it be wasted on worrying about toys cluttering the house or garden. Our garden is tiny and is crammed full of things that the children love, a play house, a giant slide, paddling pools, sand pit and a tuff spot. They also have their own planter where they can grow their own plants from seed. There is a corner for a table and chairs, a bench and a BBQ, it is as much theirs as ours.
I love to get the children involved in things I am doing whether that is making lunch, wrapping presents, working out shopping lists, tidying their rooms, anything really. They love to get involved and although it might take longer or create more mess it's a great way to make the most of your time so that you can spend it with them. Over the last few months my little ones have started to really enjoy helping in the kitchen, particularly to make their own food. They grab a stool and pull it up to the counter and then tell me what they would like to eat and off we go! Obviously kitchens can be dangerous places so we take extra care but I'm sure that goes without saying!
|Easter Tomb rolls|
Another thing I find massively important is listening to the children. I think as adults we often get caught up in "do as you're told", "listen to me" and "hurry up" but I have been learning that listening to them can make a huge difference to everyone. Maybe you are in a rush and they won't put their shoes on? (something that I'm sure every parent has problems with now and again?) This happened to me the other day, I was in a flap, frustrated and found my voice being raised as I said for the 500th time "Please can you put your shoes on NOW!!" Little Mr came over to me and said "aww mummy you don't need to be cross, I'll show you I can put my shoes on the right way round" and he did. He was so pleased that he had done it right (even though he has done it dozens of times before) that it made me realise how important small things are to them, and rightly so. Little Miss kept saying "mummy" over and over the other day and when I'd reply she would smile and just say "mummy" again. It was getting pretty annoying but I stuck with it and eventually she said "I really love you, you are so nice" *melted heart*.
I am pretty laid back usually, I don't like to be a grouchy mum but there is always room for improvement. A few months back I came across this blog www.theorangerhino.com if you haven't seen it yet please do have a look, it's a really useful place to look to find alternatives to yelling. I have been preparing myself to start the challenge for some time now and am ready to start. When you shout or don't listen to what your little ones are saying you do miss the things they have to say. Fancy joining me on the challenge?