Being More Intentional With Your Kids

Being More Intentional With Your Kids

- in 2019 Editions, April 2019, Magazine, Parenting
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Sara Carnes the fish

I’m a list maker — you know, a checklist person. I like to see things visually. If I don’t write something down, it just doesn’t get done. Period. Everything goes in my calendar, and I try to keep things in order with our family as best as possible.

Since I love to keep lists so much, I decided I would start to do a little journaling this year. A friend of mine posted a challenge on Instagram for the week: write down things I was going to be more “intentional” about doing — and doing more of — in my life. I thought it sounded like a good exercise, maybe even a little fun, so I did it (I love making lists, after all).

To start, I knew I wanted less phone time — especially before bed and in front of my kids — less stress, worry, etc. But when it came to what I wanted to be more intentional about doing, I wanted to really think about it. I wanted to really make them happen.

On top of my list was spending more intentional time with my girls. I’m guilty of running a tight ship at home to keep order. Sometimes that means I get so organized that I forget about letting loose and just spending some good, quality time together. So, I thought, that’s it; this is what I need to focus on a lot this week: my girls, and being more intentional about my time with them.

Now comes the hard part: making all your desires happen. Of course, the week starts off as hectic as every other week, and we’re all running from one event to the next. On this particular day, we have a full load of school, homework and dance, plus getting ready for a big project that was due the next day. (Actually, it was a super fun event called the International Festival, and each child was responsible for representing their country for a little display show for parents and students.)

After such a long day already, I was ready to cash it in. We weren’t quite done, but we had plenty ready and I was pretty sure my  daughter would get a good grade on what she had done with her project. The only thing missing was a food dish from that country, which was optional. It was about 8 p.m. after practice and I was so tired; I just wanted to go to bed, so I really didn’t feel like cooking anything.

But that night, my husband looked at me and told me something that will forever stick with me. He said, “One day, you’re gonna wish you had these late nights back.” Oh boy, that hit me right in the heart. He was right. I started thinking about the intentional time I said I would have and I decided we needed to make it happen.

That night, we stayed up late making “Kaiserschmarrn,” an Austrian pancake dish, and laughed ourselves silly and had so much fun making them. Even if we stayed up past our bedtime, it was all worth it. I like to say we’re making memories.

As the week continued, I remembered that night and started blocking out more one-on-one time with my kids. Just carving out time for conversations at the dinner table, reading bedtime stories, or having a little dinner date together with kids can make such a big difference. I’m going to keep journaling — and hopefully uncover even more healthy tips from which to learn.

So, what do you say? What would you like to be more intentional about doing less of this week? And what would you like to do more of?

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