Please note this article is a rough transcript of the video, 7 Ways to Enjoy Kids More on Youtube (see video below).
When we have children, we often think enjoying our children happens automatically. But, it doesn’t happen like that for all of us. Many parents struggle with ‘barely liking’ their children, and some don’t even like them. It’s hard to admit this. But, we don’t have to live like that forever. There are many things we can do to change this. And in changing the situation, we will also make our children’s childhood happier and more fulfilling than if we were to do nothing.
Motherhood offers us many joys. Being a parent is such a blessing, but sometimes we get caught in a rut, and we don’t enjoy the fantastic children God has given us.
Well, let’s talk about how you can enjoy your children more.
Enjoy Kids More by Making Time for Them
The first way to enjoy your children more is to make time for them.
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but the most stressful parts of the day are often in the morning when you’re trying to get your child ready for this or that. And you have time pressure, and it’s not enjoyable – you’re just rushing the kids out the door.
But you can remedy the rush and get rid of the time pressure.
Making time for your children will involve decluttering your social calendar. And spending a day at home with your children is a great move. When you’re at home, spend the time just sitting down with them and reading them books.
(Maybe one of the best tips for parenthood is that you take your children in a frustrating moment, and you sit on the couch with them. Then, you get a great big pile of books, and you go through them. Reading books is calming for you and calming for your children.)
I find my children behave better and are much more loving if I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time with them during the day. On the other hand, if I don’t spend time with them, they tend to play up more.
So, ask yourself in the frustrating moment, have you spent time with your children?
Enjoy Children More by Banning the Phone
Another huge one I see is mothers who spend too much time on their phones. Mothers become frustrated as their children try to get their parent’s attention relentlessly.
Does this mean you never go on your phone? No.
But, it does mean you try not to use your phone when your children are about; or you don’t use it unless you’ve spent a really good amount of time with your kids.
I try and save my phone time for when the children are doing quiet time. This means I only really look at my phone in the morning before the children are awake, during their quiet time, and then in the evening when they go to bed.
Enjoy Kids More by Asking Them Questions
Another great way to enjoy your children is to ask them questions. I love this because you get to become familiar with their thoughts. Kids also have the opportunity to talk with you. Most children love talking and telling you what they think about this or that.
Additionally, this is a great way to get a few laughs (both for you and for them).
Just like we need to spend time chatting with teenagers, it’s also worthwhile spending that time with younger, smaller children. Try to find out what they think about matters that affect their lives.
You can start doing this well from age three onwards.
Enjoy Children More by Reducing Work Hours
If you discover that you have little time to be present with your children, little time to ask them questions, or little time to make time for them, consider reducing your work hours. I’ve found that by far the happiest children I know are the children that have stay-at-home mothers.
I know this isn’t always an option and isn’t always possible, but I’d encourage you to spend as much time as you can with your children. You will notice they’re calmer and happier for it.
Enjoy Kids More by Recognizing Their Emotional Temperature
One way to enjoy children more is to recognize when things are getting too much.
When I’ve had a terrible day, and my child is asking me a million questions, I will say, “Okay, it’s time to have a bit of quiet time. Of course, you can spend that out here in the lounge room, but I would like you to sit on the carpet or sit on the couch and read a book quietly by yourself.” When you say this, you can have a bit of downtime for 10 minutes.
Downtime will help you re-gather your thoughts, and it will help train your children to spend quiet, calm time in your presence.
Enjoy Children More by Going on Excursions
A sure-fire way to have a lousy day in our house is to keep the kids cooped up all day.
So, make sure you get outside every day with them. (Here’s a list of some field trip ideas if you’re stuck for ideas.)
The fresh air does wonders for them, and an excursion also breaks up the day and makes it a lot easier.
Try to get out for a bit of exercise. Children get to run around and burn off a bit of their energy, and you can too! Exercise is essential if you want to have a happy day!
Which brings me to healthy eating. Eating healthy food makes you feel better. It has a massive impact on your mental health.
If you combine healthy eating with exercise, you’ll have less stress, and you can enjoy your children more.
Pray for a Good Day
I feel that the simplest way you can enjoy kids more is by asking God for you to be able to do that.
As a Christian, I believe God is the one who gives people enjoyment. And so it’s a good idea to pray for your children and for yourself.
Pray that you would enjoy your darlings and that you would be patient and kind to them. God is gracious, and He says He will give us what we ask for if it’s in line with his will. So why not ask for that? It’s a great thing to ask.
Motherhood is amazing! There is so much to enjoy when you’re a parent. Although enjoying our children doesn’t always come naturally, there are many things we can do to enhance our love for and enjoy our children more. God bless.