Sometimes I think we should all take the time to stop, take stock and ‘be’ a child.
It makes for a far less stressful life. And it’s SO much more fun than grown up stuff.
Rain? What rain?
Mud? It’ll wash off.
Cut on the knees? Shows I had a good time.
An hour to make a 10 minute journey? What’s the rush?
Sometimes I forget this as I’m caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day life. Ferrying kids to and from school, shopping, admin, work, housework, after school clubs, visiting friends.
Sometimes I forget that one of the best stress relievers available is totally free of charge and right there for the taking: Spend time with your children. Actually give them your time. All your time; no distractions. Because the rewards are huge.
My 7 year old will sit for HOURS writing or drawing or creating. And if you just sit with her and chat or share or join in she visibly blooms.
My 10 year old wants to tell you, in great detail, about his latest battle on the Clash of Clans game on his iPod or the characters on his Skylanders Giants. I find it tedious to the extreme, but it makes his day if you take the time to show an actually interest and not a passing nod.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to dedicate half an hour/an hour to one thing when you have a million things you know need doing.
So I find being outside easier. No washing in the corner nagging me to throw it in the wash. No photo tempting me. No jobs in need of doing.
And give them a game or a challenge that you will join in with and they bounce.
Plus I believe that if you instill in your kids a great love of the outdoors it won’t matter if they sit glued to the TV or the Playstation or the computer during these cold evenings. Because at heart, they will love getting out there and discovering and exploring and breathing in that fresh air more than anything else.
That’s my plan anyway!
I took these photos on one of our many dog walks and I just love how their imagination fires off as we tramp through the woods. We played a game ‘say what you see’ and this is what they said they saw when we came upon various every day things:
ALIEN TENTACLES: Those tentacles are reaching down into the earth to steal our natural resources because the forest is full of them and the aliens know that the woods are so quiet they can go about their deed with no one watching.
MOTHER NATURE’S CLIMBING FRAME: Clearly Mother Nature made this tree have branches which sweep the floor so we can climb it. She even added in footholds especially for a child’s foot because she doesn’t really want adults climbing her trees.
ART: You could put this in a gallery and people would stand and admire it and wonder how it was created. And no one would ever know because nature is a Mystery.
THE BEST PLAYGROUND EVER: There are roots and hiding places and it’s a bit spooky and it’s on a hill so it’s quite difficult to move around – WHAT else could you need?
BEST FRIEND: He always wants to play, never ever complains and never ever runs out of energy. He’s also good at hide and seek tig, but gives your hiding place away all the time!
This Christmas I will be finding ways to really switch off and enjoy my two excitable children – I hope you find a way too!