How people can continually become better at parenting / grandparenting, one moment or day at a time

New Year goal setting and intentions can be a daunting prospect when we look at them as a whole. We so often proclaim things like ‘I will run a marathon!’ or ‘this year I’ll read 100 books!’ but then the sheer scale of the task hits us in the face, like a mountain bursting out of the ground. So often give up before we’ve even begun because, well, who could blame us?!

The old saying that ‘a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’ is one that we could all benefit from remembering as we enter a fresh year full of good aspirations and goals - and it’s never better applied than to our own intentions to be more mindful, present and better parents, grandparents and caregivers.

The great news is that when it comes to parenting intentions, the biggest changes grow from the little actions that we do every day. The smallest of changes can be that crucial single step in the massive journey that is raising children.

Recent studies into the connection between the amount of time caregivers spend with their children, and their academic achievement, behavior, and emotional well-being, reinforced the point that quality of time is much more important than quantity of time. 

Children need high-quality time with parents and caregivers—that is what is most beneficial to children and what can have a positive effect on them as they grow.

Below are some suggestions of small steps that you can take each day to ensure time spent with our children is high-quality, and meaningful:

  1. Have a daily ‘connect’ time with your child. Do this face-to-face, if possible; but if this isn’t an option, create a connection in other ways, such as leaving a note in your child’s lunch box, posting a note by their toothbrush or a video call before bed, if you’re working late.
  2. Create a special ritual that is shared between you and your child—something that can be done every day. For example, let your child choose and read one book with you at bedtime.
  3. Tell your child you love them every day, and tell her how important they are to you.
  4. Reinforce and praise positive and kind behavior.
  5. Share mealtimes with your children whenever possible.
  6. Schedule time for doing an activity of your child’s choosing. Be sure to follow through and do your best to complete the activity without any distractions or interruptions.
  7. Play with your child, even if it’s during bath time or outside before preschool. 
  8. Lead by example and turn off technology when you spend time with your child. Try not to text, answer calls, scroll through social media, or watch television when you are sharing your intentional one-on-one time.

Here at The Kiss Co. we believe that connections with our kids are about quality of time, not quantity of time. Through our books, stories and toys, we offer the inspiration and tools to create slow moments so together you can love, laugh and share no matter how busy our day-to-day lives are. 

Remember; every connection we make, no matter how small, has a lasting impact and creates security, emotional connections and loving memories that your child will cherish for a lifetime.

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