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Why You Should Parent Your Kids Like They're Someone Else's

Posted by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM
  • 5 Replies

Why You Should Parent Your Kids Like They're Someone Else's

by Kristen Chase

Parent your own kids like they are someone else'sAfter a few business trips where I'm solo but I have the chance to visit my friends with kids, I made a pretty significant parenting discovery: I'm a pretty cool "parent" to other peoples' kids. I sit on the floor and play with them, I let them climb all over me, heck I even happily feed them their meals. 

So when I got home, I tried to figure out why I was so interactive with their kids and not necessarily my own. As much as I love playing with my kids, I don't do it as much as I know I should. Then I realized why, and it's completely changed how I parent my own children.

As it turns out, when you're at someone else's house, you don't have any of the responsibilities that you have at your own. The laundry isn't haunting you, the dishes aren't piling up in the sink, and you don't have to worry about anything but quite frankly, enjoying yourself.

With all that weight lifted off my shoulders, I'm able to just have fun, to be present for whoever I'm with, and to fool around knowing that I'm not going to have to stay up late and finish up all the chores that I often times choose over the straight up interaction with my kids.

It's sad when I think about it, because really, all those responsibilities can wait. But our kids, they grow up so fast and those moments, well, you can't get them back.

Folded laundry? Eh, who really cares.

Of course, we all can't abandon taking care of our home, because in keeping it up in one way or another, we're actually caring for our children and giving them a safe, healthy place to live. But we can make different choices with our time. We can allow ourselves to have a little fun and let a few things go, as much as it might pain some of us.

And we can be more present for our kids, as present as we might be with someone else's when we're not worried about what to cook for dinner.

I'm still working on balancing it all, but I know that over the last few months, when I think about the choices I'm making, I'm able to better prioritize what really needs to get done and what can wait so I can spend some quality time with my children.

How do you balance life's responsibilities and enjoying time with your kids?

by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM
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Replies (1-5):
by Barb on Jul. 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

This is a good insight. I wish that I'd realized it when my children were little. I took time every afternoon after lunch to have time with the children and play or read, but looking back, I would have taken even more time.

by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this

i think the reason i can play with other people's kids more has nothing to do with the laundry. its because i only have to see them for 30 min, then send them on their merry way. I havent had a chance to get tired of them yet. When you are with your own kids day in and day out for years... sometimes you get pretty tired of the constant annoying things they do. I think I play with my kids just as much, they just get all the downtimes when Im not playing as well.

by Cecilia on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:08 PM

I love this!

by Bronze Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 4:13 PM

When we had our first child I was able to stay home.  I made it clear to my husband that while Iw as more than willing to pick up extra of the housekeeping, my "job" was the raise our child, not to be the maid/chef/etc.

By keeping in mind that my priority was to be an involved parent, it kept me from fretting too much about unfolded laundry.

It has been more difficult as the kids have gotten older with more activities and me having a job.  It became an absolute imperative that each of our children had to have some one on one time when my husband took a job in a different city.  Suddenly it was just me and them.  I had to make the balance work.  This means scheduling time for each child, nearly every day so that they don't feel lost in  the chaos, and I don't feel like I've somehow missed something important going on with them.

by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:12 AM

This is a great post. One thing that I love about the schedual we have is that we have set times we do chores, and the rest of the time we don't think about them.

A great book to read is KEEP YOU SANITY: TEACH THEM TO CLEAN. The very first step in this book is to find the balance.

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