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Game Night

I played

Did you play by yourself? Did you play with your friends? Did you play as a family? Regardless, the decision to play communicates the value of the essential life skill of recreation. Your playfulness brings light, well-being, and fun to your life and to your family. Enjoy.

I played.

Risk

I let them try

Trying is a part of learning. This can be hard work – for them and for you.

You play a big part in this process. Supporting their growth, development, and education may mean encouraging, waiting, helping, allowing… it means providing tools, space, time… The tension of a problem contributes to finding the solution.

Great job dad, great job mom – you set the stage so that they could approach a totally new experience with confidence. And whether or not they liked it, finished it, or rocked it – they took a risk and learned from it.

They tried it.

 

Mud

I let them get super dirty (2)

Congratulation moms and dads – you gave your kiddo the gift of exploration and experimentation to understand their world. Evidenced by filthy fingernails, holes in the pants, and pockets full of natural treasures – the learning packed in this busy, happy, dirty day is priceless. A perfect day ends with a bath.

They got super dirty!

Potty Break

I went to the bathroom alone

I used to savor the moment when all of my kids were buckled in and I shut the van door – I would take my time walking around the car BY MYSELF before we zipped off to the next thing. The children were safe and the tiny break was enough of a reset for my own mental health.

The bonus was (and is) that everyone gets a lesson in self-care, patience, and valuing each other. This is important and excellent parenting.

Who knew that part of your parenting job would be to teach your kiddo to wait while you go to the bathroom? But, on the other hand, who know that would be so fabulous?

I went to the bathroom alone.

Fathers Day

We told dad stories

Today we celebrate our fathers. We praise them with cards and treat them with breakfast in bed. But, especially today, we honor the fathers in our lives with congratulations, recognition, and commemoration. So share their stories:

Tell the one about what you did for your dad on Fathers Day, about when you had that special time, about when he covered for you, about the time he forgave you, about when he taught, helped, played…

You can tell the tricky ones too, gently. And tell the ones about the person stepped in as father for you.

And be sure to tell a bunch about your kiddo’s father (even is it’s you!) about when you first understood you were a dad, about when you made a dad mistake, about how proud you are to be their dad, about dad things you are looking forward to…

Family storytelling builds and reinforces the culture of your home. As you’ve told old and new dad stories today, you have built up your child’s understand of themselves and their history. This is great parenting – and fun too. Happy Father Day.

We are sharing Dad stories.

Caretaking

Water the plants

Water play leads to development of math and science concepts that contribute to higher learning. And it’s fun. And it’s extra fun when there’s a purpose to it. So, today’s dishwashing, bath time, washing the car, tramping in puddles (maybe that one is not so helpful) or watering the flowers count as lessons and well as chores.

Tending the veggies, herbs, and flowers is participating in life. The reward comes slowly and with gentle work. You took time to water the flowers – I hope you took the time to smell them. Congratulations on doing the important parenting task of sharing caretaking with your little one. 

We watered the plants.

Celebrate Freedom

Juneteenth (2)

Every day you help your child understand the world. Today, on this 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States, you did the hard work of sharing important and complex concepts. Maybe you’ve educated yourself, done some soul-searching, stepped into the unknown, made a new commitment and now are doing things differently – it all matters. Great job growing as a family.

We learned about Juneteenth.

We celebrated Juneteenth.

Juneteenth reminds us to listen and act.

Juneteenth calls us to change.

I’m Sorry

I apologized

I once saw a toddler accidentally knock another toddler over. The caregiver asked to pusher to say, “sorry.” He did. And then helped his buddy up just to push him down again and repeat, “sorry.”

There is way more to an apology than a magic word.

You were wrong. You and your kiddo both knew it. BUT, you apologized. You changed the script. You modeled humility, honesty, and commitment to growth and doing your best. And they forgave you. Nicely done.

I apologized.

Go Sock

I took a nap (1)

Our family sometimes played “Go Sock” by dumping all the unmatched socks in a huge pile in the middle of the floor. I dealt out a few socks and we took turns making matches, getting them from each other, or having to “Go Sock” and choose a random one from the mound. We played our way through the perpetual work of matching family socks.

In a game or just getting it done, sock sorting is authentic work. Good for you, this means that you are – 

  • teaching a life skill 
  • working side-by-side with your kiddo
  • modeling getting a chore done with a good attitude
  • getting the socks taken care of

You are doing the important work of parenting.

We matched all the socks.

Potty Training

Last pack of diapers

Behind every potty trained child there is a weary, cheerleading parent! You’ve read the all the books, made charts, read tons of extra books, explained waaaaaaay more than you thought you ever would, had starts and stops… and have just about made it. (Or you will. Or you did long ago.)

How many stickers have you given out for your child’s steps towards toilet training? Besides the obvious rewards of convenience and savings, there should be a sticker or some recognition for all of YOUR hard work to get your family to this point. So, here’s to you for your patience, guidance, encouragement, and consistency – it has made this big milestone possible for your kiddo and for you.

I bought the last pack of diaper$.