The Busy Mom's Ultra-Flexible To Do List
You have a lot to do each day. So maybe you make a to-do list. While taking care of so many pressing needs, consider adding these simple nine daily to-dos for young moms that might actually make your day go by a little easier.
1. Play Together
Provide frequent interactive play time with your children. Research shows that physical fitness, good relationships with family and friends, and character development all have a positive impact on school performance. Look for resources and opportunities to spend time with your kids that will be memorable and fun.
Exercising Values is an example of such a resource. EV is designed to help you tap into each of these in a daily fifteen minute special time. Creating longer special times with them on the weekends will also reinforce these benefits and EV is a source for ideas of activities to do together.
2. Express Love and Respect Differences
According to your own style, let your parental affection, love and approval be felt by your children. Don’t ever let them wonder if you really care. It has been established that different people have different love languages and there are many resources to explore this idea within a marriage. But the concept also applies to other close relationships.
Every parent knows that children seem to arrive with different temperaments that require different methods of guiding and interacting with them. These differences have also been the topic of much scientific research and studies have shown that temperament does impact future success. This is sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence and includes the ability to interact with others.
Even though children arrive with a certain bent toward being shy or outgoing, demanding or easy-going, compliant or assertive; there is much parents can do to turn these tendencies into strengths and not weaknesses. It’s a key to let the child know that you love them just as they are. Don’t try to force them into a temperament they just don’t possess but show them how to channel these tendencies for good.
We need all kinds of people but no one needs to be a bully, a wall flower, a push-over, or a tyrant. Character training doesn’t try to create one type of person but rather to constructively channel each person’s strengths so they can become the best version of themselves. For example, exercise is a great way for aggressive children to constructively channel their energy. It’s a great way for shy children to make friends and gain confidence. Bossy children may become natural leaders who learn how to inspire people and not to push them around.
This direction of natural tendencies and personality doesn’t happen by accident. Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. Observe your child. Learn what it takes for your child to feel loved, then do that. Tune into the personality of each child and let them know that you appreciate their strengths, interests and all that makes them unique.
3. Implement Intentional Character Training
Give your children explicit character training that sets boundaries for their behavior. Teach them the why behind choosing to be truthful, kind and diligent. Contrast it with the consequences of choosing the opposite trait. Have them think about what becomes of people who choose lying, meanness or laziness. Teach them that we have choices in what kind of person we want to be.
4. Set Up Routines
Give your child the gift of a predictable schedule. Children thrive with routine.
Don’t just require your children to go to bed at a regular time. Teach them what sleep does for them. Don’t expect them to see the benefits without your pointing them out. Draw a firm, immovable line where sleep is concerned so it won’t be a subject for debate each night.
5. Remove Fear of Failure
Accept failure as part of the road to success. If a child feels that they must be a stand out in everything they do, they may be reluctant to try something new or to take on something that does not play to their strengths. No one is a stand out in every arena and it can take years of practice to excel even in an area that does fit them. Praise them for being inquisitive and willing to try new things.
6. Teach about Healthy Eating
Healthy nutrition is a huge advantage for children and is associated with better school performance and fewer behavior problems. My four year old granddaughter recently ate something sweet and then shortly after became ravenously hungry. When she told me she was still hungry, I told her that was no surprise because she had eaten something with a lot of sugar and that made her hungry. Her big eyed response was, “Is that for real?”
Children want information and they actually are interested in learning what is best for them. It pays to teach them the reasons for behaving a certain way rather than just demanding compliance. At a young age, helpful explanations teach them to become people who will respect and care for themselves and others which over time make your job easier. It’s also a lot of fun to see these ideas through a child’s eyes. The time and interest you take to do this makes children feel special and loved.
7. Value Play and Exercise
Research has shown that exercise is also associated with not just improved health but also a longer attention span and better school performance. Researchers at the Swedish University of Gotham studied the effect of adding just two hours of exercise a week to the routine of a group of twelve year olds. They had a control group that did not increase physical activity. They followed both groups for five years as well as looking at their performance four years before starting the intervention.
Achieving official national learning goals was the criteria of the comparisons. Their conclusion was that two hours of extra physical activity each week resulted in a doubling of the odds that a child would achieve the national learning goals! Play and exercise is not a waste of time but rather critical to success in other areas of achievement.
8. Limit Screen Time
Less television and other screen time is also associated with better performance in school. Many ideas that you would never allow a person in your home to expose your children to can creep into your home via a screen. Watching media also robs your child of time that could be used to explore and interact with people. Be careful with how much you allow others to influence your children.
9. Bring the Joy
Find ways to enjoy your time with your children. Laughter brings joy. Your children will be happier, less stressed and more open to learning when you help them find the fun in being a part of your family.
To help you with these twelve goals, Exercising Values provides a set time each day to playfully teach physical fitness and good character. Having this time as a regular part of your daily schedule is a wonderful way to keep family bonds strong and to help your child succeed. The follow-up character story that is a part of the Exercising Values program is another child-friendly way of guiding them towards personality traits that will help them be successful in life.
One aspect of the program reinforces the other aspects as children experience as a package: physical fitness, good character, and receiving love and attention from their parents. Exercise is grooved in their brains as a pleasant experience so later in life they will be less likely to adopt a risky sedentary life style. Likewise, good character blooms from the accumulated time they spent pleasantly learning it from their parents. Fifteen minutes isn’t long, but when it occurs day after day, the time adds up and you’ll be amazed at the accumulative effect in their attitudes and behavior. In the same way, consistent exercise holds the key to their physical fitness as well as to your own.
Exercising with parents has the added benefit of forging close family bonds and opening up communication that once established while young is likely to last through adolescence and beyond. It’s an investment in their happiness and your own. They will stand out for their character and achievements and you will stand out as a parent who is devoted to your children’s happiness and success..
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