I mentioned in a couple of posts about my “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” and have had some positive comments. I thought I’d take a post and explain about this idea in more detail. So, here goes. . .
Everybody wants their fifteen minutes of fame – we’ve been told. And coming from a large family, I remember craving my parents’ attention. They were great parents and taught me more about life, living, and how to be a productive adult than I can even begin to mention. (Although, I plan to, some time.) But, there were seven kids in my family, and one-on-one time was precious. I have many fond memories of spending time with just Mom or just Dad. The memories stand out because I needed their attention. As an adult parent with five children, I still wonder how my parents managed to get us all individual time on a regular basis.
My church had an advertising campaign with the message “Family, it’s about time.” And this is so true. Our children need our time to process the events in their lives, to feel safe and secure, and to know they are loved unconditionally. Personally, I’ve struggled finding a way to give each child my time individually. Some days, honestly, I just want to put them all in bed and be done. But I’ve also noticed on the days when I don’t give my children my time, my children act out more just to get my time.
This school year, my children are facing another adjustment. Not just to the new school year, but to the new town, new friends, and new home. School alone is enough to feel frightening, add everything else in and it’s a recipe for stress. Stress in children equals negative attention seeking behavior. I don’t like it when my children seek my attention in a negative manner.
Finally, I found a solution that works for my family. It’s the “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” I’ve written about. And to give five children 15 minutes each of individual attention takes about an hour and 15 minutes. As I’ve said before, I take each child after school and talk to them about their day. I use a lot of the questions from “School Talk Conversation Starters” from “Written Reality”. The list has a lot of good questions to ask other than “How was your day?” I use the same conversation starters with my preschooler, too. I usually do her fifteen minutes during the day, when the other kids are at school. And, well, the baby and I play games, read books together, and watch Alex Boye music videos on Youtube.
I am a busy mom, and rarely have an entire hour and 15 minutes to just sit and talk. I try to start the 15 minutes sitting with the child, but I sometimes ask if we can talk while I’m also doing something. A lot of times, my kids say “no”. They want their time with me, and I respect their choice. But every so often, they’ll say yes and even offer to help with what I’m doing. Usually, that’s when I need to bake a treat, and they know I let my helper lick the spoon – go figure.
Either way, I get the chance to help my children feel loved, accepted, and safe. And, bonus, I get to find out a lot more about my children. They all seem to look forward to this time of day and enjoy their “fifteen minutes of fame”.
What are some ways you connect with your children?