My daughter and I have found a new game in the morning.
(As you may know, I take my first grader to school every morning and we spend 10-15 minutes of undistracted high quality one-on-one time together, and the ritual has changed my life.)
The other day I said, “Guess what Juliana? It’s 8:00! You know what that means?”
“It’s hug time!” and I gave her a 20 second hug as she laughed and squirmed.
So then she started talking and messing around for awhile.
“Guess what Juliana?! It’s 8:01!! It’s hug time!!” and another humongous 20-30 second hug as she laughs and squirms.
Now she understands the game, so she starts covering the clock in the car, laughing and making jokes, and waiting impatiently for the clock to turn so she can get another hug.
Honestly, it was like heaven. Indescribable. A mix of love, ecstasy, responsibility, nurturing, fatherhood, motherhood, family, communion, relationship- everything. Those 10 minutes become everything.
And I gave her another hug every minute up until she had to leave at 8:10.
How does that immeasurably valuable time happen?
My phone is in sleep mode and out of sight. That’s it.
How to play with your kids
- Stop thinking about your problems.
- Put your phone on silent or airplane mode.
- PUT YOUR PHONE SOMEWHERE YOU CAN’T SEE IT!
- Turn EVERYTHING off. (TV, computers) (Yours and the kids’)
- Look at your kids.
- Let the action happen! (Usually they will think of things to do or talk about immediately at this point, unless they start fighting with you about electronics.)