Three ways to ‘let go’ and get into the moment with your kids

It's easy to forget that our kids are only little once - and that we don't have to always take life so seriously.

As a parent, it can be tempting to feel like you always have to be in control. Try these three ways to stop stressing and enjoy being one of the kids.

  • Pick a messy activity to enjoy with your child and get stuck into it with them. Finger painting and mud pie-making are good; baking is even better. Allow them to play with the ingredients and rewrite the recipe. Embrace the chaos and the mess and eat the weird muffins anyway.

  • Plan a day on which your little one leads the way. Let them choose their meals, the activities you do together and what you both wear. Let go of your sense of control and see what happens.

  • As much as you can, set aside your parental goals, aspirations, worry or guilt and just exist in the moment with your child. Get down on their level and be into what they’re into. Be totally present and stop trying to force them to go faster, go to sleep, stop that or sit here. Just hang out with your kid as their equal.

Winifred loves ‘helping’ with the gardening.

Put pen to paper

  • Ask older kids to write down some things they’d like to learn, experience or achieve in the next week or month and help them fulfil those ideas. Learning about the experience of working towards something, and sometimes failing, will help them practise goal-setting and build resilience.

  • Keep a daily or weekly journal of what your kids say, do, learn and feel. Review it after a year and marvel over how much you’ve forgotten and how far they’ve come.

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