One of the things I want most for my kids is for them to have a carefree life. I’m not a super carefree person, so sometimes, my own insecurities, worries, and anxiety hovers like a dark cloud over my mothering. But, I don’t want my kids to feel that, so I came up with these:
10 Simple Ways You Can Help Your Kids Have a Worry-Free Childhood
1. No fighting in front of them with the husband. Wow. That’s H-A-R-D. Like it feels impossibly hard in this little tiny house where we hear everything. But, I did not grow up in a house like that. You know, where fighting goes on behind closed doors, and so I worried about way more than I should have as a kid. I’m working on this one. And, it’s a one day at a time sort of goal of mine.
2. Don’t talk about money. I think it’s important to talk to your kids about money in a kid type way. Like, teaching them about saving and teaching them about how we don’t always get everything we want. I also think it’s important to teach them about being blessed with material possessions, etc. But, if you talk about it too much you end up with a 5 year old that is worrying about whether or not your can pay your electricity bill. They (the little people) are ALWAYS listening. So, try to keep your stress and issues with money quiet in front of your kids.
3. Let them get messy. Gak, Playdough, and float are all things that are not really my favorite. I don’t like messy children. I confess to not letting them paint because it bugs me. But, I need to let go of this. I’m trying. In fact, there are currently four colors of Gak sitting on my kitchen table right now. Deep breaths. But, letting kids explore sensory play is a big part of having fun for them. This is a great idea to let them just be kids.
4. Be Late. I hate being late, so I find this one really hard. If I tell someone I will be at a playdate at 11:30. I go crazy trying to make that happen. But, sometimes, kids just take their time don’t they? My children seem to be impossibly slow. In fact, I feel like I spend half my time as a mom yelling at my kids to hurry up about one thing or another. When, if I could just be late sometimes, my kids might have more fun being kids. You know, the kind of kid that takes 20 minutes to put on his left sock. That’s how they learn, and being late is sometimes okay.
5. Be Silly. I have to say, that I am REALLY good at this when I’m in the mood. But, I need to be in the mood more often. My kids love it when I make up a song, or say something silly like we are having frog legs for dinner, or that they have a peek-a-boo bum. That one really gets them. Anyway, I need to do it more, because kids like to laugh. Especially mine. And, laughing is what being a kid should be all about.
6. Let them roam outside. This one is a little bit harder because we worry so much about safety in this day and age. However, you can allow this to a degree. Allow your children safe places to roam and explore, and lots of time outside. Some of my happiest memories come from playing outside with my friends.
7. Let bedtime slide every once in a while. I am guilty of not letting my kids stay up past their bedtime very often, but some of the happiest childhood memories can be made when kids are allowed to break the rules with mom and dad. Consider letting it go every once in a while to have a movie night, or special treat after bed time.
8. Remind them often how much you love them. Kids that feel loved will feel safe. And kids that feel safe will worry less. I’ve seen this in my own kids over and over again.
9. Remind them how much you love each other. When you can shield your kids from (most) of your marriage problems, and make an effort to be affectionate in front of them, they will feel more secure and less worried about the future.
10. Reassure them often and talk about their fears. We can’t control everything our kids think and feel, and some kids are naturally more worrisome than others. It’s our job as parents to reassure them often. I think the best way to do that is to talk to them about their fears so that they have a safe place to vent their concerns, and you can help them problem solve and deal with their worries. Sometimes, they hear about things at school, and it’s important to bring up sensitive subjects at home where they can ask all the questions they want and have their fears put to rest.
I want my little munchkins to be happy as kids and so much of that is providing a worry-free home environment. What do you think parents need to do to make sure kids can be kids?