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Creating Quality Time With Your Kid

By ADEOGUN JOSEPH KAYODE
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As l glanced at my schedule for the coming weekend, I was shocked at how busy it is! Two wedding parties, one public speaking engagement dominate the landscape, along with a list of household chores ( household chores? Yes, I do that to support my wife!) and errands longer than anyone would face. All these are supposed to be my day off! The Bible says that children are inheritance from God, and blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Not only have I found that to be true, but I have also discovered that the fuller my quiver gets (I've got arrows), the harder it is to find the time to give each child the attention he needs and deserves.

Can you relate to this? If so, here are ten things you should do to develop good relationships with your kids and make them happy in spite of hectic schedule:

1. PRAY TOGETHER
Prayer is important for families. You cannot do anything without prayers. Whether at meal times, before you go to bed or when you wake up, it is important.

2. BE AVAILABLE
Our children need to know that they are important to us. You children have permission to call you on your cell phone or at work anytime if they need to. You will find out the best quality time at night when your kids go to sleep and you just lay down next to them and talk about their day.

3. EAT TOGETHER
As much as your schedules allow, try to have a meal together as a family. This is one of the greatest times to reconnect and recharge after a busy day. It is your chance to celebrate victories, to help each other through the tough times, to do a short devotional, laugh, to cry (if need be), to tell a joke, to hear a story, to sit and feel part of a family.

4. HELP YOUR CHILD DEVELOP GRATITUDE
Many people think they can't be grateful until they're happy,

meaning until they have something to be grateful for. But

look closely and you'll find that it is the opposite: people are happy

because they are grateful. People who describe themselves as

consciously cultivating gratefulness are rated as happier by those who know them, as well as by themselves.

Children don’t have a context for life, so they don’t know whether they are lucky or unlucky, only that their friend Michael has more expensive sneakers. But there are many ways to help children learn to cultivate gratitude, which is the opposite of taking everything for granted.

5. SUPPORT YOUR CHILD TO PRIORITIZE RELATIONSHIPS
Research shows that people who are happiest have more people in their lives, and deeper relationships with those people. Teach your child that while relationships take work, they're worth it.

6. NICKNAMES
Learn to give and address each child by a nickname that no one else has. Remember that nicknames are given as special tokens of your affection, so, anyone can call them by the given names but only you can call them by their nicknames. You should let your children know that they hold a special place in your life and that you love them uniquely, equally and individually.

7. PUT THEIR ACTIVITIES INTO YOUR SCHEDULE
Try and get involved in your kids' practices, games, school assemblies, and other important events that you don't want to miss. You may not be able to make all of them, but as much as possible, be there to cheer them on. And if you can't be there, remind them of their big day so that you can all talk about it later.

The old saying that laughter is the best medicine turns out to be true. The more we laugh, the happier we are! It actually changes our body chemistry. And here’s a wonderful tool: smiling makes us happier, even when we initially force it. The feedback from our facial muscles informs us that we are happy, and immediately improves our mood. Not to mention the moods of those around us- so that feedback loop uplifts everyone.

8. ALLOW FOR SUCCESS AND FAILURE
Of course, if you really want to bolster your child's self-esteem, focus less on compliments and more on providing him with ample opportunities to learn new skills. Mastery, not praise, is the real self-esteem builder.

Fortunately, when it comes to the under-4 crowd, nearly everything they do is a chance to attain mastery- because it is all new to them: learning to crawl, walk, feed and dress themselves, use the potty, and ride a tricycle. Our challenge is to stand back and let our children do for themselves what they're capable of. The great mistake good parents make is doing too much for their children. While it can be difficult to watch our kids struggle, they will never know the thrill of mastery unless we allow them to risk failure. Few skills are perfected on a first try. It's through practice that children achieve mastery. And through repeated experiences of mastery, they develop the can-do attitude that lets them approach future challenges with the zest and optimism that are central to a happy life.

9. HELP HIM LEARN HOW TO MANAGE MOODS
Most people don’t know that they can choose to let bad moods go and consciously change their moods. But practice in doing this can really make us happier. Of course, we aren't talking about denial. The first step is always to acknowledge the upset feelings, snd let ourselves feel them. So with your child, simply empathizing with her upset feelings will help them start to evaporate. But there are times when we just stay in a bad mood, rather than nurturing ourselves through the upset, or choosing to change it. That is just a habit that our brain has gotten into. If you can practice monitoring your own moods and shifting them, through acknowledging the feelings, allowing yourself to feel the emotions, correcting any negative thoughts that are giving rise to the emotions, and nurturing yourself, you will be re-wiring your brain. And as you practice this and get better at it, you can teach these skills to your child.

10. HELP YOUR CHILD FIND JOY IN EVERYTHING
Studies show that people who notice the small miracles of daily life, and allow themselves to be touched by them, are happier. Daily life overflows with joyful occurrences: The show of the setting sun, no less astonishing for its daily repetition. The warmth of connection with the man at the newsstand who recognizes you and your child. The joy of finding a new book by a favorite author at the library. A letter from Grandma.

As Albert Einstein said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

Our children learn by our example what is important in life. Let us, pray, and trust in God for a better home front which lead to a better country.

NO FAMILY, NO COUNTRY; SOUND FAMILY, SOUND COUNTRY!