Just Be Mom (Or Dad)

Just because your child is challenging, doesn’t mean that you aren’t still his parent. Spend the weekend with your case-manager, social-worker, education-consultant, medical-scheduler, worry-wart, and future-predictor hats on a shelf, and just be your child’s parent for the day. Reconnecting with the parts of our kids that are the most fun, special, and awe-inspiring often gets left off the never-ending to do list in the hustle of the day to day management of all of their needs – choose this weekend to honor who they really are and let them be kids!

Here are my straightforward and simple parenting reminders – nothing new here folks! – just trying to get you in the right mind set for a weekend spent enjoying your child!

Please add your favorite kid-centric weekend activity in the comments below!

1. Let them eat dessert

2. Play an old fashioned board game

3. Teach them something you loved as a kid

4. Bake cookies

5. Laugh about when they were a baby

6. Make a mud puddle

7. Play the, “Remember when … “ game

8. Recall favorite vacations

9. Just listen

10. Read together

11. Remember to SMILE when your child walks in the room – they need to know you missed them

12. Lead with the positive

13. Go through old photos

14. Be playful – every moment doesn’t have to be a teaching moment

15. Skip rocks – or just throw them in the lake!

16. Allow your child a mental health day; they have as much stress as we do

17. Play dress up – YOU TOO!

18. Compliment them

19. Remind them of their of past successes

20. Watch a movie

21. Go bowling

22. Talk about your hopes for the future

23. Let them pick what to make for dinner

24. Make ice cream sundaes

25. Reward them for just being themselves

Hope you have sun like we do in Seattle!

Photo: Nick being silly in Victoria at the totem pole park. He cracks me up!


Chynna said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your list. Actually, here are a few things we're going to try this weekend:

*Go to a new park and EVERYONE play on the stuff!

*Play baseball.

*Try out our new bikes.

*Help Mama in the Garden. (Keep your fingers crossed that the frost won't ruin our fun!)

*Go to the garden center and each pick our own flowers to go in the garden. =)

*Fill the WATER side of our sandbox and let our hands get dirty. (Wish Jaimie luck on this one, please.)

*Make ice cream.

Thanks for this Hartley.


Em said...

roll down hills together (save lunch for AFTER)

father of four said...

Nice Hartley. What better way to spend the weekend.

Megan said...

Great post! You are so right. We have to be intentional with our kids to show them they are still special even though they drive us crazy! Thanks!

Megan said...

Great post! Thanks for reminding us to just love our kids for who they are, inspite of their ability to drive us crazy!!

Susan said...

This list is great. Well, we are cooking together tonight and my two kids love this! We get to do something together and they have a final product to share with others too!

Hartley said...

Thank you all for sharing your ideas!

We spent the weekend playing football, baking lemon bars, renting a movie, playing in the hot tub, and riding bikes.

It's been a great weekend -- hope you all had the same!


Taz's Mama said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. you're right. we do have a lot in common! and what's even more funny, we almost named our son Gabriel!

i love your blog. i hope you don't mind me following along with your journey. us mom's of special kids need to stick together.

my ideas to just be with kids:

- wrestling

- pillow fights

- playing with the hose

- laying in bed together in our pj's first thing in the morning

- making up goofy songs

great ideas!

Nancy said...

Fabulous ideas. I bought up a bunch of board games at rummage sales and am determined to teach my son how to play them. Whenever I've done it, he's really enjoyed it.
Oh, and Apples to Apples--what a favorite! It'll be rainy here so that will definitely come out.

April said...

This is a fabulous post, it's so easy for parents of children with 'labels' to forget to be parents.

Patty O. said...

I love this post! It makes me remember something Lucy Jane Miller said at a conference I attended. She said if you have a choice between doing something therapeutic with your kids (therapy, exercises, karate, etc) and doing something fun and you can't do both, you should choose the fun.

We made cookies today and I let the kids eat lots of dough. We also snuggled on the couch reading Danny's Lego magazine.

Hartley said...

Patty - Cookie dough is a food group around here. :) Dr. Miller is wonderful (and I will tell her you remembered that about her when I talk to her today!) - and she is TOTALLY right! Our kids 'youth' is short and we should be loving being kids with them. :)