Calling all Mums! Are you washing, cleaning, cooking, ironing, tidying, sorting, shopping, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping… only to finally sit down with a cuppa and hear a little person say ‘Mum, can you play with me?’ Then hello – the attack of the guilts.
I admit, I have never been a mum who enjoys playing with my kids. That sounds so awful, and I don’t mean I don’t love spending time with my kids, I just mean I really don’t love playing hide and seek, Barbie, or racing on the Hot Wheels track. To me, that is seriously boring.
Wait and work around me
My kids have always been encouraged to pursue their own games and learn how to entertain themselves. My friends have always said to me ‘I don’t know how you fit everything in!’ and that is because I have always done what I need to do and my kids have had to learn to wait and work around me.
As horrifying as this sounds to some mums, I believe this has encouraged my kids to be flexible, adaptable, creative and resourceful.
Even so, I still have to make SOME time for my kids.
In the current world of technology and busy, busy lives it is easy to fill in every minute with something. Heck, I have even been known to check my Facebook at the traffic lights because I can’t stand the two minute wait until it turns green. I despise wasting time and am constantly plotting my next ten moves in my head in attempt to cut them down to eight. So where does this leave my kids?
Create a kid time slot
Kids need a time slot in our busy schedules. Not a long time – twenty minutes can satisfy their needs IF we make those twenty minutes count.
I have learnt (by training myself) that during ‘kid’ time I put down my phone. I leave the washing in the machine. I ignore the beeping microwave. I turn off the TV.
We need to be PRESENT for our children in the time that we allocate for them.
If we acknowledge our children by giving them our full attention, using our body language and facial expression to show interest, reflect on their conversation by saying ‘Oh?’ or ‘I see’ they truly know that we understand, care, love and respect them – that nothing else matters in that moment.
And if that moment cannot be now – reschedule it for another moment, when you can give your whole being EVEN if you have to play with Barbie.
Megan Warren is a qualified teacher and mother of two, with over 14 years teaching experience in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has taught children ranging from Prep to Year 7 and has a particular interest in behaviour management.
In 2011 Megan participated in a parenting course entitled ‘How to talk so kids listen & Listen so kids talk’ which immediately resonated with her teaching philosophy and quest to be an effective parent to her two young children. Her enthusiasm for the values behind ‘How to talk so kids listen & Listen so kids talk’ subsequently led her to organising the course at different venues before commencing her own facilitation of the program in 2014.
In 2015 Megan left her teaching position to focus on the development and marketing of this program to a wide group of parents and educators in childcare, kindergartens, schools and community groups. Megan is passionate about helping parents and educators achieve harmonious and happy relationships with children through improved communication techniques.