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Life Lessons from a Toddler ... 3 Parenting Tips for a Better Day

As parents, we get caught up in the wash-rinse-repeat cycle of our days. We wake up the kids, get them to school, pick them up, get homework and supper done, bathe them, and tuck them into bed. Wash-Rinse-Repeat This week I was reminded that we need to break that cycle. I was reminded of this by my favorite almost-two-year-old, our granddaughter, Emma.

You see, this past week our daughter and her little joy-filled Emma came to visit from the west coast. Due to covid concerns we have missed the last two Christmases together and most of Emma's first two years. Video chats have been great, but nothing beats being in person! This week, the girls flew here from the west coast and we had days full of toddler fun! Their visit got us out of our empty-nester cycle of working all day, dinner then watching shows at night. Instead, we started our day with that little ball of sunshine! We played with toys, we sang the A, B, C song repeatedly -- sometimes with some extra silliness added, and we soaked up all the hugs we could get. We also learned some life lessons that I thought were worth sharing because we all get so caught up in the busy schedules and to-do lists, we forget to stop and enjoy the little moments with the kids! Here are 3 Life Lessons that will help you reduce your stress and enjoy the parenting journey!

Lesson 1: Jump in the puddles!

Little Emma LOVES wearing her little pink, polka-dotted rain boots and jumping in puddles, the deeper the better! We had a particularly rainy day on their first full day here and Emma couldn’t wait to get outside. I joined the girls for a walk and watching all the splashing reminded me that we need to take a break from our daily grind and find joy in the little things. I’m guilty of losing myself in "current events" and feeling the stress from it, so taking the time to unplug and puddle jump was so relaxing!

Lesson 2: Dance like no one is watching!

When our kids were little I made a point of having music on and dancing with them often. It's just adorable to watch little kids dance, they move how they want to and live in the moment. We did a lot of dancing in our kitchen when the kids were little.

This week I had a new dance buddy. Emma and I danced our hearts out! She has the cutest little side-to-side hip wiggle and pretty good timing (her parents are both music teachers and musicians, so it comes pretty naturally to her). We discovered she enjoys Nana’s Motown greatest hits and calls it “Big Dancing” when I hold her to dance. I got frequent requests to “kitchen dance” and it reminded me that we need to move our bodies more and dance like no one is watching. Just have fun!

Lesson 3: Laugh More - it is good for the soul

There is absolutely nothing better than a toddler giggle! Whether it’s a game of chase or being silly with her toys, that little girl's high-pitched laugh was the best thing ever. We laughed, we played, we had fun being goofy. I don’t know about you, but with everything going on in the world today, losing yourself in laughter with a child is the best form of stress relief.

Having been a stay-at-home mom with our 3 kiddos, I know parenting can feel hard some days. So today I’m going to suggest you find joy in something small, dance your heart out and laugh with your kids. Life is short, let’s take time to enjoy the journey!

I want to thank my daughter and granddaughter for bringing such love, light and joy to our home for a week. After two years apart, this is exactly what we all needed. Love you girls! If you find these tips helpful and would like to receive weekly parenting and stepfamily strategies, click here to sign up today!

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