“Play, Laugh, Sing, Read, Listen, Hug”

This is the mantra I chose to guide my own parenting, to help me keep my  priorities in check when life gets overwhelming with dishes, laundry, to-do lists, and  EXPECTATIONS! These are the 6 action-words I choose to do with each of my kids on  a daily basis. This is my goal – sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesnʼt. I chose  them because (wearing my expert hat) they are the most important part of a young  childʼs healthy routine, brain development, and emotional foundation. But I also chose  them because (wearing my Mommy hat), when I am in the moment sharing these  moments with my kids, ordinary moments become memorable moments, and I am a  joyful mommy. I chose them because I think they will grow with me and my kids, and will  always serve to keep us close. I keep these words up on my bathroom mirror, in my car,  on the fridge, and on my laptop. At the end of the day, I like to consider my favorites  from the day, and I will be blogging about some of them with you.

Play Did you know that if you concentrate on playing with your child at least 5 minutes a  day, it can reduce power struggles by 50%? Now thatʼs worth a try! (That means TV off,  ringer off, brain engaged, on the floor, in the costume or in the mud, and let them call  the shots.)

Laugh Did you know that laughing not only lowers stress, but also helps boost the  immune system? Find what gives your child the giggles this week, and make a point  to laugh with your child, not at them;) There is nothing like genuinely cracking up with  your child!

Sing No matter what you think of your own voice, I guarantee it is your childʼs favorite  one to hear! They knew it well before they were born, and will hopefully be “hearing” it  in their heads and hearts long after youʼre gone (the good stuff, fingers crossed). Start with 3 songs a day, and I promise Iʼll give you a song for every task, every animal, every  occasion before my blogging days are done.

Listen Every child, even babies, need time to express themselves – their feelings, their  stories, their newly discovered sounds. But, we must provide them silent space and full  attention to really hear what they are saying. In this way, we honor their very essence.   Maybe itʼs in the car, in the bed, over dinner, snuggling after nap – find their sweet spot  (time and place) for opening up, and make yourself available. Youʼll learn so much!

Read Reading aloud to your child is an easy way to accomplish so much: physical  touch and connection, bonding over a shared experience, language development,  developing attention span, growing imagination, and it provides a mental escape for you  and your child from the stresses of reality. (Because who wouldnʼt rather be in the  Hundred Acre Woods?)

Hug Snuggle, kiss, wrestle, massage, stroke…your child physically needs your loving  touch for healthy development. Loving, physical connections on the outside literally  make neural connections on the inside. Enjoy it while they still want it, and give it to  them even when they “outgrow” it, because they never really do.

Moment for Mommy: When I was struggling just trying to survive, much less have the energy to do live out my mantra with my own children after a long day of teaching, no hubby around to help, little sleep with a co-sleeping baby, I had an “aha” moment as I stared at these words. “PLAY, LAUGH, SING, READ, LISTEN, HUG.” Am I doing any of these things for myself? I should make myself a priority, too! That’s when I started listening to some of my own music every now and then instead of just Kindermusik in the car. That’s when I started calling a friend to talk in the evenings when I knew Dustin wouldn’t be home. That’s when I made sure to get a hug from a friend at work during the day, because there were some days that no one else offered me one, and touch matters for grown-ups, too! That was when I started reading something for pleasure, even if it was just a couple of sentences of a good novel at bedtime before falling asleep. That was when I started really appreciating the people and the things that made me laugh. Laughter really lifted my spirits, and I tried to get more of it! That was when I decided I needed to carve out time for myself to “play” with people I loved – to have a night off to go to the movies or do something fun every now and then. Are YOU on your priority list?

Comments

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  2. Extremely useful info specifically the last part :)

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope you’ll find more useful info on my site. I’m always passing on the lessons that help me the most with other moms, because we’re all in this together!

  3. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog like
    yours take a lot of work? I am brand new to running a blog but I do write in my
    diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

    • Yes, it is as much work and fun as you want it to be! Don’t do it to make money, though. I do because I like to write, share ideas, and recored my family and parenting memories. I am working on a post to answer your question further. Thanks!

  4. Summer says:

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    • For real, Summer? That’s AWESOME! Most of the comments I get are spam, so I was thrilled to see yours this morning. Thanks :) How are you doing in Porter?

Trackbacks

  1. […] and Ellie enjoyed making designs with her holiday window decorations. Just remember the mantra: Play, Laugh, Sing, Read, Listen, Hug, not “Shop, Wait, Buy, Drive, Drive, Drive“. Ellie loves to arrange the holiday window gels / […]

  2. […] and Ellie enjoyed making designs with her holiday window decorations. Just remember the mantra: Play, Laugh, Sing, Read, Listen, Hug, not “Shop, Wait, Buy, Drive, Drive, Drive“. Ellie loves to arrange the holiday window gels / […]

  3. […] and Ellie enjoyed making designs with her holiday window decorations. Just remember the mantra: Play, Laugh, Sing, Read, Listen, Hug, not “Shop, Wait, Buy, Drive, Drive, Drive“. Ellie loves to arrange the holiday window gels / […]

  4. […] “mantra” or priorities. You know mine, by now: “PLAY, LAUGH, SING, READ, LISTEN, HUG”! (See why…). I’ve since added another “value” to teach and model: RELAX! These “priorities” also […]