I remember doing special time which meant giving each child 15 minutes to decide what they wanted to do….child led play was a challenge for me. I learned the likes and dislikes of my children and they really became individuals to me at this time. We had a craft box to pick from and we made stuff together and then displayed it. I learned that Carl is funny and a great copy artist, Glenn is really caring and liked to make things for me, Sian is more like me than she’d like to admit and is very creative, Tammy is a born performer and has a very nurturing side and Connor is mad on mechanics and how to break things (or see how they work until they don’t anymore!) I learned to play with my children and they learned about me too, we related better and were more able to share thoughts and feelings, something I hadn’t done in my own childhood.
I remember finding creative ways to set boundaries as smacking was not in my tool box any more! Learning to give each other space and talk when emotions were not high was a task and a half especially with teenagers! We worked it out together. I remember being called into school because Carl was swearing at staff, I made a t-shirt with a picture of him and me on and swore I’d wear it into his class if he was dis-respectful to a teacher again….he wasn’t!
We made contracts with rewards and forfeits for behaviour that was NOT acceptable. We learned a lot about what upset each of us and what needed to change to make the household a little bit happier
We chased each other round the house with balloons, this helped to dissipate energy and caused much laughter too We had water fights in the garden, drowning each other and there were lots of giggles then too!
I remember coming home with a great big gateaux, giving all the kids a fork and we all ate it straight from the cake rather than slicing it, my kids remember these things too!
We used to put music on and then all dance, we’d moan at each other for having bad taste in tunes. We only had one TV so we often squabbled about what we were going to watch.
I remember one birthday morning being woken up at 5am because my children had decorated the inside of a lid of a box with all sorts of creations and they were sooooo excited, I couldn’t be angry about the time when they all carried it in so carefully and exploded with info about who had made what and why
I still have all the little cards they all made me when they were little and when they were teenagers they were great to look back on and share again with them, reminding them that we hadn’t always disagreed and been so angry. (Though I do not recommend such sharing in the heat of an argument ;-))
Maybe I’ll remember more fun stuff and share on here :0)