Happy Mom, Happy Children Challenge

Remember, if you aren’t happy, neither are your children. Some days are hard and we don’t like to be defeated, but sometimes it happens. When you feel defeated, it tests your patience which in turn makes it so much harder not only on you, but your children as well. These are normal struggles, so stop being so hard on yourself.

If you’d like to become a happier mom and develop a stronger relationship with your children, you can participate in this 30-challenge. Be sure to focus on each daily challenge.

  • Day 1- Breathe! Breathing can help you if you feel that you are becoming irritated. Deep breaths in and out. This is so much better than having to raise your voice, which you will more and likely regret almost immediately. If you need tips for this, Jordan Shakeshaft has written an amazing guide on achieving this titled: 6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less.
  • Day 2- Do a one-on-one activity with each child. Anything that they enjoy is always good to involve yourself with. You can cook, read a book, watch a movie, color, or play a game. You can also let your child decide on what activity they would like to do with you.
  • Day 3- Encouragement at Bedtime. Every night at bedtime, remind your children of how much you love them, how proud your are of them, and how you can’t wait to have fun with them the next day.
  • Day 4- Morning Greetings. Greet your children in the morning by saying “Good Morning”, asking them how they slept, and telling them that you love them. If there is time, ask them what they would like to have for breakfast. Always give them of choice. If there is no time, you can still offer quick choices like Yogurt, Toast with jam, or cereal. It’s always nice to let them decided what they want and makes them feel good as well.
  • Day 5- Be Grateful for everything they do. If they listened to what you ask them to do, tell them how happy you are that they listened. If they helped you with something, let them know how grateful you are that they took time to help you out. Let them know how proud you are. You should do this even and especially for the little things.
  • Day 6- Reduce their use of technology. Technology is always good, especially when it comes to learning, but your children shouldn’t be in constant use of it. Limiting use to 1-hour per day is beneficial simply because it seems that technology is taking over children’s minds. Art projects can be a lot more fun, along with science. I personally suggest going outside with your children and doing a scavenger hunt, teaching them about nature, or even playing hide & seek.
  • Day 7- Listen to your children. Actually listen and pay attention. If they are trying to talk to you, pause what you are doing and look at them, even down to their level. After they are finished talking, ask them questions.
  • Day 8- Time-Out. Sometimes children need to calm down. Time-out is the best option for this, especially when they are being bad. Each child should have their own time-out area and should stay placed there for the same amount of minutes as their age. If they are 8 years old, the time-out time would be 8 minutes. If they get up, you simply walk them back to their area, not speaking a word, and reset the time. Do this until they understand that they cannot get away with it.
  • Day 9- Stop saying No! There are much better words than no. Say things like “Do you think that’s a good choice?” “How about you try again, making a better choice.”
  • Day 10- Ask your children for help. You can ask them for help with simple things, such as putting the silverware away, or even helping you to put clothes into the dryer. Children actually love helping out, especially if you praise them for it afterwards, letting them know that they did such a great job and that you really needed their help. I did this with my daughter and now she wants to help me all the time and is always asking, “Can I help you with that, Mom?”.
  • Day 11- Show Appreciation. You can do this daily. Appreciate being a Mom and let your children know how much you appreciate them, even for the little things that they do. They made you smile today, like they do everyday, tell them how you appreciate them doing that.
  • Day 12- Go outside and Play. Go outside with your children and play a game with them. If it’s summertime, spray each other with a hose, jump in the pool, or toss ball with them. Hide and seek is a very fun game to play and the more people involved, the more fun it is. Super-soakers can be a lot of fun as well and your children with definitely enjoy themselves. If it’s too chilly for water activities, a scavenger hunt is always fun. Nature scavenger hunts are not only enjoyable, but also very educational.
  • Day 13- Teach your child a new skill. Whatever you decide to teach them, be sure that you praise them. I am currently teaching my daughter how to sign. My Father is deaf and my daughter is unsure of how to communicate with him. Teaching her to sign will be great for both of them.
  • Day 14- Have a YOU day! Happy mom’s mean happy children. Take time off for yourself. No, you are not being selfish, you need this and so do your children. If you feel that a day-off is not something that you can do, you can always take an hour for yourself. It’s best if you are able to do this daily, even if for 10 minutes.
  • Day 15- Teach your children Manners! Teach your children to say please and thank-you. Teach them to pay attention to their feelings and the feeling of others and then respond correctly to them. Teach them to open dorrs for others, to wait their turn, and to speak nicely to others.
  • Day 16- Creativeness! Teach your children to be creative. They will enjoy this immensely. There are many creative things that they can do and probably have done, but try to bring something new to the table. For instance, if they have never baked cookies, or never painted, those are great options and they will definitely have a lot of fun.
  • Day 17- Open the Door to anything. Well almost anything. This challenge asks you, as a parent, to put down your shield a bit and allow your children to do something that is maybe a bit out of the ordinary. Children always have crazy ideas that they’d like to try, and of course, if not dangerous, allow them to do so.
  • Day 18- Early Bedtime. This is not only good for your children, but it’s good for you as well. Children need more sleep than you might think. According to The National Sleep Foundation, Infants ages 4 to 11 months need 9 to 12 hours of sleep with naps in between, ages 3-5 need 11 to 13 hours of sleep, & ages 6-13 need 9 to 11 hours of sleep.
  • Day 19- Walk! Go on a walk with your children. This is a fun activity that allows you to spend more time with them. If they become bored with this, you can have them bring pen & paper to draw write down anything interesting that they see along the way.
  • Day 20- Talk to your children like an adult. Let them know what you appreciate and do not appreciate, and then tell them to do the same.
  • Day 21- Teach your children to give. Giving is a great act of kindness that all children should experience. Teaching them to give and not expect anything in return is even better. I have taught my daughter this at a very young age and every year she gives most of her toys to our local outreach center before Christmas to help out the children that don’t receive much, if anything. As she puts the toys in bags, she explains to me how each child might play with that certain toy and how happy they will be.
  • Day 22- Teach your children Want vs Need. We as adults know the difference and it’s our responsibility to show our children. Tell them about what they really need. Food, Water, & Shelter are the top 3. Have them tell you about an item they want and explain to them that there are things more important than that.
  • Day 23- Be who you want your children to be. Whoever you want your children to be, you must first do the same to set the example. Polite, caring, helpful, responsible or appreciative, set that example for them. Show them what it’s like to be that person. They will appreciate it and try their best to become it.
  • Day 24- Show respect for your children’s Dad. Show how much you love their dad and how much you appreciate everything that he does for not only you, but the children as well. Shoe them how important it is to have their dad in their life.
  • Day 25- Word Art. Teach your children a new word and have them make art out of it that includes a sentence in their own words with the new word that they learned. This is something that you can do weekly and it won’t in any way inturrupt what their teacher is doing.
  • Day 26- Teach your children one thing that they can do on their own. This gives your children a sense of their own control and also a step closer to being older, which they love feeling. This can be anything as children like to learn and are very positive when they learn to do it on their own.
  • Day 27- Indulge in a snack day. Sure snacks aren’t always good, but if you hardly eat snacks, this won’t hurt you nor your children. Allow them to pick out 2 of their favorite snacks and you do the same. Give them their snacks in moderate portion size of course. You don’t want them vomiting everywhere. Sit in a comfy area, eating your snacks, and having a wonderful conversation.
  • Day 28- Declutter Day! Use this day to declutter a room. Have each child declutter their own room. Once finished, inspect each childs room, praising them on what a wonderful job they have done. Saying things like “Oh wow, you did all of that on your own?” What a good idea, I didn’t think of that!” After hearing such encouragement, they will want to do this, not just with their rooms, but other rooms in the house. Encouraging words help motivation.
  • Day 29- Free Day. Do nothing and allow the children to do nothing. If they decide to watch movies all day, let them. This is their day and your day. Bubble bath yourself up and play the music on high!
  • Day 30- Take the family to the park or museum. Do something that you have never done before. Make it interesting and unforgettable. short on money? There are many other possibilities out there that are either free or at very little cost. thesimpledollar.com has an array of choices for you and your amazing family to enjoy. Check them out and plan your next quick vacation.

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