But first, credits: This is an excerpt from a poem by Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK). Her website, where you can buy her original poster and other products, is planetsark.com.
I fell in love with this poem years ago, way back when I was still single. And I thought to myself what a fortunate child to have a parent who do these things. So I made a silent promise that I will remember this poem when I become a parent myself.
Now with 2 kids of my own, I am happily obliging to this list, and adding my own (some of them below).
- Be there for them 100%. Unplug. Go offline. Leave the gadgets somewhere else. Be.With.Them.
- Sing together at the top of your lungs.
- Say “I love you” many times.
- Create games especially for them.
- Get to really know them.
- Be more mindful in parenting them. Parent them according to who they are (personality).
- Teach them discipline.
- Honor their authentic self. Validate their feelings, their fears, their dreams.
- Know their favorites and let them know through the little things, like making them a bracelet in their favorite color.
- Bake them a cake on random days and make up your own occasions.
- Do something in the kitchen together.
- Make snow angels. Or, just lie on the ground together and feel the earth or look up at the sky.
- Play hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo, and really enjoy them.
- Create something from scratch for them. Build them a dollhouse. (In progress)
- Share your adult thoughts and feelings with them like they’re one of your adult friends.
- Send them postcards from your trips and write about your favorite memory of them from that trip.
- Write them letters.
- Be very specific with your bedtime prayers with them. Name loved ones to pray for.
- Teach them gratitude. At bedtime, ask them to recall blessings from the day that they are grateful for.
- When they are in a bad mood, give them a silent hug instead.
- Pray for them. Pray over them. Pray with them.
- Say sorry to them and mean it. Admit to them when you make a mistake.
- Love and honor their other parent.
//Would you like to share your own list?