What is your favorite time of the day? Is there something you do every day that just lights you up and makes you feel good inside?
Now… let’s get one thing straight. The time I am thinking of IS my favorite time; however, it’s NOT always easy to do, I don’t always WANT to do it, and, well… sometimes it just doesn’t go as you planned.
My favorite 5 minutes of every day are…
the 5 minutes just before my kids go to bed!
Well…. maybe not always, but most of the time.
WHAT???? I know you are thinking, “HOW?” How can that be? Yelling at your kids to finish that last bit o
f homework, pick up that last piece of clothing off the floor, brush their teeth, say their prayers, get into bed, stay there, and ‘no, you can’t have a drink.’ How can that be fun???
Well. One day many years ago I was talking with a friend, a single mother who worked two jobs just to keep her family together. We talked about how hard it was to get our kids to listen to us and to keep a good positive relationship with them. She told me of a tradition that they did in their family. It’s called simply, “five.”
You finally get your child in bed (that’s the hard part!), and then go to him and kneel down by his bed, or crawl in beside him. Take out your hand and say something positive you like about your child, something you appreciate that he has done today, something you love about him. Take careful note of things you have been working on with him or that maybe he is struggling with. For example, if you have been potty training and he made it half the day, you say, “Wow! You were dry all morning! Thanks for paying attention and getting to the bathroom!” Yeah, it’s true he wet right after lunch, but you don’t say a word about that. ONLY POSITIVE.
Having my son ask for “five” is what makes it worth it. The relationship is what builds and is strengthened, and what makes this my favorite time of day.
As my kids have grown, this “five” has taken on a different meaning. Now it’s 5 minutes to talk about the day. Sometimes I have them share things they liked about their day. Sometimes, we talk together about problems. Sometimes we read a story or do a puzzle. Sometimes they read me their journal. Sometimes “five” turns into “ten.”
The rule is: no one gets to interrupt. Not eve
n Daddy. With each child, he or she gets undivided attention. And if I’m gone for work or play, they want me to do “five” in the morning.
It’s said that the most important times of the day are the first 15 minutes in the morning and the last 15 minutes before sleep. Maybe that’s why they are my favorite.
Thank you, dear friend, for sharing with me what has become a very important tradition in our home! And for making a difference in the lives of these amazing children of mine!