Mother Teresa encourages us with her famous quote, “we can do small things with great love.” As a mother of three young children, this gives me hope. Hope that my efforts, no matter how small, throughout the day can cultivate a culture of love and worthiness within our family.
Each child encounters countless experiences each day, and it can be helpful for their emotional well-being to process their busy day with you, their loving parent. So our “small thing with great love” can be finding 9 minutes each day to engage in child-led conversations. These 9 minutes will give you a predictable time and routine to support your child’s emotional well-being.
These 3 times of the day can be the most important 9 minutes of your child’s day:
the first three minutes–right after they wake up
the three minutes after they come home from school/ you come home from work (Side note: if you’re home with your child during the day, find a time mid-day to regroup and reconnect)
the last three minutes of the day–before they go to bed
Having these anchoring moments throughout the day allows you to be intentional and provide emotional security to your child. And before you think, ‘Gosh, I don’t think I could muster up the energy to add one more thing to my mental load’… I totally get it.
But don’t think of it as adding something more. Rather, think of it as an avenue to do things you’ve wanted to do!
So, instead of pulling the covers off and rushing to start the day, could you spend 3 minutes waking up together while you pour your coffee?
Maybe when your child gets home from school, instead of running to the TV or homework, walk to get the mail together. During these 3 minutes, you can ask open-ended questions, allowing them to share what is on their mind.
For little ones, this may look like reading a book together, singing, or just snuggling. Find functional ways that work for your lifestyle to spend these 9 tiny minutes together!