Pink fluffy slippers, chocolates, potted chrysanthemums, hand cream and body scrub…
If you have small children, you could well end up with a generous helping of all of these next Sunday!
It’s precious, isn’t it?
While we know it’s the thought that counts and we really are happy with painted rocks and squashed dandelions as gifts, what we’d really, really, really like… is some peace and calm.
While peace and calm may not come easy, it’s definitely free. And with the help of your kids, you can get a little bit of it on Mother’s Day 🙂
Whether you’re parenting on your own or you have a rock solid support network, it’s well worth the time and effort of encouraging kids to think about the little things and give small gifts of love to those they live with… not just to you on Mother’s Day, but to everyone in the house.
Here are 5 easy ways to help your kids start to think about gifting love as a very real present:
1. Make a big deal of hugs
Especially if you have kids who love physical touch, make a really big deal out of hugging. You could make it a ritual that have a big fun family group hug every morning… or just a quiet individual hug and short story with each child every night. Whatever it is and how ever often you do it, make sure they know it’s important to you. It’s definitely important to them.
2. Ask them for help to give
Tell them you want to make a special treat for one of their siblings tonight because they’ve been especially helpful (or kind, or thoughtful, etc). Ask for their input – what would make their sibling feel loved? What can you do together (without spending money) that lifts the other person up? You might find they pick something quicker than you do because kids are generally better at listening and noticing than we are!
3. Let music lead
We’ve created a little tradition in our home of always playing loud, fun music when we’re cleaning up. Similarly, when we’re going for peace and calm, we’ll put on something easy-listening or instrumental. It’s amazing how quickly kids pick up on the difference that music can make in their lives. Now, when I’m feeling a bit stressed and my nine year old can sense it, she’ll put my favourite music on. She calls it my “Mummy calm-down music”. By using music in your home to lead the mood, your children will begin to understand how music can be used to make people happy and the’ll start to pick it for themselves and each other.
4. Leave love notes
Take the time to leave love notes for your children, especially after they’ve taken the time to gift you with their latest nature find.
5. Create calming corners
You may not have space to have it set up all the time, but once in a while, why not set up a calming corner for each child, either in a section of the living area of even next to their bed. This can be their special spot to enjoy quiet time, read a book, snuggle with a parent or decorate as they see fit. It helps them learn to respect other people’s special spaces and gives them their own little spot to care for.
I’d love to hear what you do to help your children see love as a real gift in a consumerist world. Let me know in the comments.