The more kids I have the more I realize that this season of 0-5 years flies. The days are long, trust a sister, but the years are short. I thought I’d share 3 things I’m doing with the boys right now that are positive and rewarding for all of us!
- Meet them on their level for teaching them how to do chores or help out around the house. Luke is my jumper, climber, thrower. If he had to get from point A to point B, he’ll take the most difficult path and make it a parkour adventure. So one way that I get Luke involved with helping is by giving him the task of throwing all the balls of socks downstairs after I sort them. Sometimes he helps me match the socks, but mostly he shows up when the mound of socks is organized, places them all in the shopping cart, races down the hall, and then throws them from the top of the stairs to the bottom. We keep the kids’ socks downstairs by the shoes, so this gives him a task to help out with and is also fun for him to do. I will admit that oftentimes I gather up the socks at the bottom of the stairs and put the in the basket, but sometimes he helps with that as well! David, on the other hand, loves helping out by vacuuming or swiping the swiffer all around to pick up cat hair. He will also help bring in packages or get the mail (I’m always watching when they do that task).
- Don’t underestimate the value of one on one time. David and Luke are 14 months apart in age and often get grouped in together with each other. 99% of the time it’s wonderful, but the downfall is that Justin and I can sometimes forget that Luke is still only 3, and there is a BIG change that happens between a 3 and 4 year old, so our expectations of him may be a little higher than usual at times. Spending time individually with each of them not only gives us a chance to focus on only one child at a time, but it also allows THEM to blossom as individuals as well! I am so grateful that they are best buddies (they both call each other their “best guy”) but I’ve enjoyed alone time with Luke on the days that David is at school. It’s not been as easy to get alone time with David, so I’m more likely to let him stay up a bit later for a story or to help me put Emily to bed to get some quality alone time with him.
- Saying “no” to other commitments that involve them. Perhaps I’m projecting my feeling of weariness onto them but this summer and even the fall has been slammed. I knew it would be with the addition of Emily to our family (HOW DOES IT ALREADY FEEL LIKE A LONG TIME AGO THAT SHE ARRIVED?!), but it has persisted with little signs of slowing down. I can admit that a lot of the busyness is my willingness to say “yes” to a lot, but I didn’t want my kids to get bogged down with too many things. We declined an extra curricular at our church, skipped a soccer program through preschool, and basically decided to have swim school be the only weekly commitment for the boys beyond school. And it has been great. They have fun, they are learning how to stay safe in the water which is very important to me as a pool owner, and it’s brief 30 minute lesson. I know our future will hold lots of extra circulars, so for now it’s nice to keep it simple.
David will be 5 next month, and Luke will turn 4 in February. We are in the thick of kindergarten decisions and the realization that this is the last academic year that David will be coming home before 2:00p during the day. I cannot IMAGINE how long a kindergarten day will feel, and how empty the house will seem when Luke is attending preschool for 5 days and David is in kindergarten.
Are there things that you are focusing on with your kids, if you have them, right now? I’d love to hear!