1. Mommy/Son Dates
The need for attention reared its ugly head when our newest son entered the world. Believe it or not, my 4-year-old twin sons never seemed to show any jealousy towards each other. Only after their little brother entered the world did they suddenly need ALL the attention. One has taken up the role of doing something he knows he shouldn’t and then, when he is caught, lying about it. The other just flat out does everything he can wrong right in front of me so the attention is on him. Negative attention is still attention right? My first goal for the New Year is to take them out on individual dates with Mommy. A time where every second of my attention is focused on just one of them and they won’t have to hear, “I’ll be there as soon as I’m done feeding the baby.”
2. Watch My Language
Before I expand of this, let me first explain I’m not walking around the house cussing. There are however words we have told the boys they cannot say to describe someone or something and I just can’t seem to give them up. The main word is “stupid”. Nothing can put you in your place faster than hearing your child say, “Mommy, we’re not supposed to say stupid.” I also catch myself saying “idiot” a lot. Not only are these words derogatory, but they also require no thought. I want my children to have a more expanded vocabulary when trying to describe something. So instead of saying, “that guy was driving like an idiot”, I am going to work on saying, “that man was driving dangerously.”
3. Be Less Reactive and More Proactive
Ever notice your kids seem to get in trouble when you aren’t paying attention to them? Of course there are times you have a legitimate reason to be distracted (i.e. cooking dinner, dealing with the crying baby, putting clothes in the dryer), but some things just don’t count as a legitimate reason. Watching my favorite TV show or trying to update my facebook are two good examples. I often find myself telling the boys to be quiet or to go play in their room, because I can’t hear my show or they are distracting me to a point that I can’t type a coherent sentence. I also find myself overreacting when they do something they shouldn’t be, because it is INTERRUPTING me. My third goal for the New Year is to do the “me” things after the boys are in bed. The more involved I am with my children, the less likely they are to be doing something they shouldn’t be.
4. Show the Hubby Some Love
No, I’m not talking about sex here. I believe it is a universally common desire for parents to want their children to have a healthy, loving marriage as adults. But how are they going to know what a healthy, loving marriage looks like if they don’t see it as they grow up? The goal here is to stop whatever I happen to be doing when my husband gets home from work and hug him, maybe even kiss him, and let the boys see it. When they are older and decide to get married I want them to be thinking, “I want a marriage like Mom and Dad have.”
5. Learn More About My Children
A few weeks ago my husband and I went to our twins’ first Parent/Teacher Conference. We were both surprised to learn the one we thought would be doing better academically, wasn’t. Wait a minute! Maybe I don’t know my kids as well as I thought I did. I find that because they are twins, even though they are individuals, we and everyone around us refers to them as “the twins”. My final goal for the New Year is to learn more about my sons’ own unique personalities, likes, and dislikes. Maybe our mommy/son dates will help me accomplish this goal!