It’s the question that plagues me as a parent… How you nourish your kids hearts and minds? And here’s my truth- as a parent- it feels at moments that I may very well be swallowed whole by all the laundry that awaits me , which continues to mound on my son’s bed or the never ending dust bunnies that cover every last nook and cranny of my house which scream to be cleaned. And in the face of all this housework-nourishing my kids’ bodies and minds through quality time often takes a backseat. Yes I am a BAD MOTHER. Then we had a blackout, courtesy of a storm and a change was literally forced upon us.
There is nothing like a blackout, which robs you of all the modern conveniences you take for granted, and brings with it a kind of deafening silence that compels you to take stock of the family dynamic that exists between you and your kids. In my family’s case, after we all freaked out for a solid five minutes, my kids were upset that they couldn’t watch television while my husband and I frantically ransacked the house for our one working flashlight(note to self- buy emergency supplies!). Then something quite unexpected occurred, we lit candles, plopped ourselves on the couch and proceeded to play!
I know-it sounds very kumbayish- but you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s true. This compulsory family time- forced us to engage in basic play like; word games, charades and sing-a-longs. For two-hours we were so occupied in our unplugged play games we barely noticed that there was no electricity. Of course, once the lights went back on, we each rushed back to our respective corners- e-mailing, watching SpongeBob Square Pants, but jointly vowed to participate in unplugged play at least once a week. And so, since our unfortunate blackout- I’ve found some pretty stellar ways to answer the question How do you nourish your kids hearts and minds? My kids, I’ve learned, require their own unique nourishment!
It is the question that plagues me as a parent–
How do you nourish your kids hearts and minds?
For my 13 year-old son I learned (and have since) spent countless hours listening to him regale me with his stories- he can wax poetically about politics, sports, mythology and well the list goes on. More than anything he loves to sit curled up and have my rapt attention( he even tells me I’m not allowed to hold my smartphone while in the midst of his storytelling).And its in those moments that we have our most intimate conversations- and he asks me those questions that I can never seem to find just the right answers to like; Mommy what happens when we die?!”
For my daughter, finding ways to nourish her is more about spending time with her and within our shared activity organically finding ways to talk and learn about each other. And at 16 years old ever the girly girl- she will jump at the chance to go to the salon and have our toes painted, or even on a Starbucks Chai Tea run (she prefers the hot chocolate).
Mostly I’ve found quality time, and the ability to nourish my kids, comes in many different forms and can be had during almost any experience. What our kids ultimately want most from us- simply put- is just us and our time.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
This is such a wonderful post! It’s so important to make sure we give our kids everything they need on an emotional and intellectual level as well as the physical.
Colleen Lanin says
I totally understand this on every level. I frequently feel like I might get swallowed up by the laundry AND everything else.
Jen Rattie says
I love this post for the most basic reason. It’s TOTALLY true and relatable. I make sure I give my kids everything I can on every level to make sure that they have what they need to prosper.
Jess C says
Great post! Some of the best times with my family was when the power went out and we actually got to spend QUALITY time together!
Emma Kelley says
My girl is still a baby now, yet I’m thinking of the moment she talks to me, how we spend time, what we will do, where we will go. I’m excited I got your advice how to nourish kids hearts and minds, it help me to realize that being with my girl, spending time together is best. Thank you so much.
Pam Wattenbarger says
Quality time is so important for kids. We used to have a weekly board game night!
Rachel Ferrucci says
Beautifully stated. Kids do love to be with us. Although when I was little I used to love storms and hope for black-outs. Today I’m the same, but I do have all my emergency stuff ready. Better get shopping Melissa LOL
Dawn McAlexander says
This is some good quality time for you and your family. I think that everyone needs to step away from the technology every now and then.
Veronica Solomon says
I take my job as a mommy very seriously, and make sure that my kids have everything they need to be great kids and great adults
Marcie W. says
In the digital world we live in, it can be easy to get sucked into social media and constantly feel the need to stay connected. It is important to also remember to make time to connect with those closest to us in the process.
Spending time with them away from the screens, is really important. My girls love to just sit in the living room and crack jokes with the family. It’s a great way for them to relieve the stress of the day and an opportunity to share whatever is going on in their world in a laid back setting.
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says
We still have a family game night and me and my cousins are all grown, there is a lot of eating, snacking, challenging each other to various games – board games, chess, wii games like the dancing ones or singing ones and sometimes the boxing ones too! My favorite tradition!
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
These are all so true! I love spending quality time with my kids. Even simple activities can be a bonding moment with them.
Amanda Love says
Blackouts are a great time for families to catch up and spend time together, it’s funny but it works. I think it’s nice that you guys bonded during that time. It’s unfortunate but at least you made the most out of it.
Wonderful post! Making sure kids have ample time to be a kid, and turn off the screens is something I do a lot with my kids and even us adults.
Louise Bishop says
All kids desire is to be loved, cared about, and listened to. Most kids will hand you their world for basic things like that.
Kelly Hutchinson says
Even though I am a work at home mom, I don’t get to spend as much time with the kids as I would like. At least we get to talk as I am driving them to and from school.
Our Family World says
Great post! I always believed that quality is always better than quantity. Children will only stay young for a short while and we must always make the best of every single moment we spend with them.
Annemarie LeBlanc says
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. When my kids were growing up, I filled their days with praise and encouragement. I wanted them to feel that I am behind them 100% of the way. Every little achievement is met with praise. Every disappointment is addressed with encouragement and a little prodding. Lots of hugs, kisses and I love yous are what helped me raise my kids to be the responsible adults they are now.
Making sure we give our kids what they need is so important! My kids all have such different personalities and react to different techniques – that it keeps me on my toes
Your story just goes to prove that we need to make the most of any situation. I love that you turned a power outage into a family bonding moment.
robin rue says
Both of my kids LOVE it when I watch them do their activities. For Nathan, he loves me to watch him do gymnastics and then recap what he did after class. Same with the big one and basketball.
Alli Smith says
My kids were always involved in sports so it seemed we were always heading to or from a game. I would try to take that opportunity to truly spend quality time with the kids. Now that the “kids” are all grown, they still enjoy spending time with me and their dad and that causes me to smile and realize I did at least one thing right. 🙂
My kids were always doing sports as well as math and science clubs. We tok them to different museums and they volunteered in nursing homes. Just have to take the time with your kids.
Amber Myers says
Well, for my daughter, being outside nourishes her! She loves to explore.
My son has autism and for him it’s being away from people, ha. But he teaches himself about all different subjects thanks to books and Google.
This is a great post. I think it is so important to learn what our kids really enjoy, how they know you love them and care about them. For my son, it is talking and maybe playing a video game.
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
Yes my girls love quality time where we spend time together doing art or playing sports together. It’s such a great opportunity to bond and get to develop a closer relationship with them.
My son playing sports nourishes him. It’s something that he loves. Me being there to support him and also spending quality time with him. Is something else that he really loves as well.
Karen Morse says
This is one of the things that I tell parents during Parent-Teacher meetings, all they need to do is give their kids some time to spend together and they’re definitely going to see a difference in their attitude and personality. Kids will greatly appreciate the time that you give them!
Sara Welch says
Thank you so much for sharing you view of this. I do my best to give my kids the world and then some; they are my everything.
I have been fortunate over this weekend to reconnect and bond with my kids as j is still at hospital with baby. This is a great perspective and I totally agree
Alison Rost says
I agree, spending quality time with the kids is something that will help them mentally and emotionally. It’s important that we set aside time for them. I love how you spend time with your kids!
Carol Cassara says
At the end of the day it all comes down to the time that you spend with them. I think you’re doing an amazing job.
Beautiful post and I totally agree with you. As a new father to this world, spending quality time is essential with the kids. Me personally after reading this, you are doing a fantastic job. 🙂
Sandy N Vyjay says
In this age of smartphones and other gadgets, old-fashioned quality time with family is difficult to come by. Sometimes a blackout can be a blessing. A road trip together could also be another idea to get some good quality time together with the kids.
Amy h says
This is one reason we love going upnorth to our family cottage during the summer. There is very limited internet – so the kids are not on their technology. They play games and actually converse with out complaints!
Fi Ni Neachtain says
You’re so right, all our kids really want is just us. I spend a lot of time outdoors with my sons and they love it, I really should learn to put my phone away more though and just be in the moment.