The Kids appreciate the simple things


I have a simple (kinda expensive) treat for the kids this Christmas.  It will happen on Christmas eve (that is the day I get them) and I hope they enjoy it.  Related to that gift is a simple plan.  To work on my direct attention with them.  I already cook, play, and enjoy my time with them but how often do we as parents say our uh, huh’s and ok’s while checking email or TXT’ing on the phone?

I am resolving myself to begin to give my undivided attention to my kids’ stories and ideas even more so than I do now.  Now, that isn’t to say if your child is interrupting something important that you should drop that call to your stock broker and talk to your kid, but rather to allow your children to have their own time to let you know what is going on.  I have started this and you know what?  They see what you do and they start giving you their attention as well.  It creates so much more open communication and appreciation for each other.

Lastly, I want to let you know that I plan on being more open in allowing them to help in decisions.  Things like what kind of groceries should we get?  Or, if I give them a few ideas for the day and allow my two kids to come to their own agreement instead of regulating their arguing and bickering over who gets to pick.  You know what?  Giving them those choices allows them to develop some amazing skills that will benefit them later in life, negotiating (ie, my son says, “hey ‘L’ if we go to your movie then I get to pick what we have for dinner” or when my daughter said, “J, if you let me play your iPod Touch then I will go and play on the computer when we get home and you and dad can play Xbox 360 together.”

It is in those moments that I find I am the proudest.

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    • JT
    • December 10th, 2009

    What bedrock solid foundation you’re building under those kids. What great ideas. And most people have to go spend time & money for mucho counseling to figure out all that.
    They’re helping to keep you steady as you go too…aren’t they.
    Ehh – You’re a wise young nipper. It’s not at all about how much time. It’s what you do in the time you have.

    • kate mackay
    • December 16th, 2009

    well Zach, it always worked for me. Teaching them respect and manners from the get go, has given my sons a great base. Then the attention they get is good attention, not negative. People, teachers, etc…have always said how polite they are, when they showed respect to adults they usually got it back. And by letting them make informed decisions about dinner, activities, etc., it safely expands their boundaries, and gives them good decision making abilities, how to weigh pros and cons, and how to compromise. Also, if there was something they wanted to do with a friend, they had to come to me with all the details, like times, rides, activity, etc. which showed responsibility, and truthfulness. 9 times outta 10 they were allowed to go, and the one time they weren’t I would explain why, not just “because I said so”. And I remembered my mother yelling up the stairs to wake me up for school, and I hated that. So when it was time for my boys to get up, I would go to their room, and gently wake them. Then their first words of the day were warm, and gentle, and fun, and loving. Even with a busy work schedule, I always did this. Touching base after work with your spouse is very important too. And even if I got home from work after them, finding out about their day was important, and they reciprocate to this day asking how my day was. That’s all it takes, some face time, some good attention, and consistentcy with this. Good job Zach!!

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