April 01, 2022
top trending topics
📝 Help your teen express their emotions with these journal prompts.
💔 When you forgive yourself, you can learn from your mistakes & move forward.
🤗 Wondering if you’re a good friend? Look no further.
🍼 Adjusting to a new baby can be hard on everyone. Here’s how to help your toddler.
🖐️ Stop the judging other parents & comparing yourself with these tips.
tips & tricks for growth
parents! your emotions can affect your child
I woke up late because I forgot to set my alarm, so I hurried to the shower and got dressed. Then I rushed to my son’s room to get him up and ready for the day. On my way to the room, I’m greeted by a BIG smile and my son saying, “MOMMY, look! I helped you. I got dressed and ‘made’ my breakfast.” He was dressed like a bag of skittles. He had on a purple shirt, lime green shorts, red socks and his blue shoes. Breakfast consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk. Actually, only half of the peanut butter and jelly made it to the bread. The other was spread on the table, and none of the milk made the glass. It was in a puddle in the middle of the kitchen.
I was experiencing a variety of emotions including feeling stressed, bothered, frustrated and angry.
My son watched what was going on on my face and waited for my response. What could I say or do? I could yell out of frustration and anger. Or say, “YOU made such a MESS! I don’t have time to clean this up. We are GONNA be late! What are you WEARING?” Or, I could laugh, open my arms, and say, “OMG! Thank you for helping Mommy this morning. I was running behind. I appreciate you dressing yourself and eating your breakfast.”
No matter the response I chose, one thing is for sure: my response will have an impact on my child.
live in the present with your child
Does it feel like you’re at war with the clock? Like you don’t have enough time to do all the things on your to-do list? Struggle with finding time for yourself? Feel disconnected from your kids?
If you answer any of these questions with a “yes,” welcome to parenthood! Being a parent is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding jobs. You have so many things on your to-do list. Often, we are spouses, employees, caregivers, dietitians, Uber drivers, and teachers for our children “going” to school digitally. With so much on our plate, we become overwhelmed and stressed. This easily can turn into not being really present. We feel disconnected from our children, ourselves, and from our lives.
Things You Can Do First Thing In The Morning To Be a More Present Parent:
- Lovingly rouse them from sleep.
- Wake them by singing a good morning song.
- Cuddle in the bed with them.
- Ask them what they are looking forward to today.
Things You Can Do At Bedtime To Be a More Present Parent:
- Read them a book.
- Ask them about the highs and lows of their day.
- Give them backrubs and back scratches.
- Snuggle up with them.
Kids aren’t looking for perfect parents; they are looking for present parents. Don’t allow the stress of “Am I doing enough?” hamper you from enjoying what you are doing. Spending quality time being present with your child should trump your feelings of guilt and stress about not spending enough time with a child.
what we’re lovin’
This week’s picks come from Margo Mathis, wife to her husband of 2 years, Jebediah, dog momma to Maggie, soon-to-be #GirlMom, and the Email Specialist here at First Things First. Take a peek at her recommendations for this week because they are just THAT GOOD. Check ’em out 👀:
🐶 Pet parents, you need Chewy! If you’re like me, your dog/pet is a part of your family, but sometimes the hustle & bustle of life cause you to forget their monthly heartworm medicine or even forget that bag of dog food on your grocery list. Heck, who even wants to shlep a 50-pound bag of dog food around the store anyway? With Chewy, we have our dog’s monthly medicine delivered (which always reminds us to give it to her!) & that heavy bag of dog food is delivered right on our front porch.
😋 If you like to cook easy, healthy meals, you’ll love @defineddish on instagram! She makes healthy eating simplified. One of our favorite recipes to make is her sloppy janes. They’re a quick, easy, healthy & delicious take on the OG sloppy joe. Ditch that canned version and give the sloppy janes a try!
🍅 My favorite hobby: fruit & vegetable gardening. You can find your planting zone (based on the geographical region you live in!), and you’ll then find tips/tricks and timing on when and what to plant in your area. I started gardening 3 years ago and immediately fell in love. It’s great for my mental health, physical health (Eating delish homegrown veggies all summer!), & I absolutely love the gratification I get when I sow a tiny seed in the ground that eventually yields me a ton of delicious produce. I challenge you to plant at least one fruit or veggie this summer. It doesn’t have to be complicated; just get started!
share the love
Know a friend who would love reading all the relationship goodness we’ve packed in here? Go ahead and share it with them!