It seems lately that all of our days, weeks, and months fly by. We have the same routine day after day: We wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and go to school or work. Then we drive to practices, and other after school activities, come home, do homework, eat dinner, bathe, brush our teeth, maybe watch some television, say our prayers, and go to bed. Then we start it all over the next morning, usually with not even a little something special. Our lives, and our children’s lives seem to be running on autopilot. We are like robots programmed to a certain routine with only an occasional special moment if we are lucky.
But what if we could create at least one magical moment with our children each day? I know what you are thinking. Our lives are just too busy to fit one more task in our daily schedule, or I’m just not creative enough to come up with something that will make a special magical memory with my kids. But I’ve discovered a way that just takes a few minutes each day. This isn’t just for our kids, it’s for us too. Isn’t our relationship with our children worth it?
I love lists, so here is list of 7 Magical Moments that we can create for every day of the week! This will only take a few minutes out of your day. You can spare that right?
1. Cook and prep a meal together (Sunday). I like to have this magical moment on Sundays because it’s the day with the least activities. You might not think this can be a magical moment, but it is indeed. I let my oldest son (age 7) chop veggies, with my supervision of course, while my two younger sons (age 4 & 5) measure, pour, and stir ingredients. Our children feel empowered when they are able to help with grown up tasks, and the bonding that goes on is pure magic! We also set the table together. Some days, I let my boys choose the menu. One way that we switch it up is we pack all of the in a basket, and picnic in the backyard on a blanket and watch the sunset.
2. Meditate together (Monday). We call it Meditating Monday in our house. This is a wonderful way to begin the week with all of our scheduled activities. Meditation brings a sense of calmness to begin the work/school week. There are more ways to mediate than sitting with our legs crossed on the floor, eyes closed, and repeating our mantra. For example:
- Walking Meditation: This isn’t your typical close your eyes and repeat a mantra meditation. During walking mediation, your eyes are open of course (we don’t want to trip, bump into something or someone, or get hurt in anyway). Walking Mediation is all about awareness. Also, if you have a busy Monday afternoon/evening, you can complete this by walking through the parking lot from basketball practice, dance practice, a kids’ yoga class, or whatever other activities you have that day. You simply observe everything you see on your walk. Then you can discuss it with your child on your drive home!
- Laughing Meditation: This is great to do with your kids right before bed. Lay down on the floor or bed, then just start laughing. You can make up silly laughs, or laugh like Santa. Laughing is contagious so you should be able to do this for one and a have to 2 minutes. Your kids will be wiped out and ready for bed. Pure Magic!!
- Candle Meditation or battery operated candle if your children are really young. This type of meditation is also done with your eyes open. You can sit on the floor criss-cross applesauce or in a comfy chair, place the candle 1-2 feet away from you at eye level. Dim the lights &stare at the candle. Your focus is to not blink. First try for 1 minute, and then increase each week as your eyes become familiar with this
- Mantra Meditation: This meditation is done sitting, either on the floor or on a chair. Place your hands on your knees, touch your thumb to your index finger, and repeat your mantra. In my kids’ yoga classes, we say, “Peace begins with me” 3-5 times touching each finger with our thumb. We then whisper it 3-5 times, and then close our eyes, and say it quietly in our head. The peace and bliss of this meditation is pure magic!
3. Practice Yoga together (Tuesday) Doing a yoga sun salutation with your child is always special, and exercise to boot! You can let your child call out the poses (empowerment again!), plank, downward dog, warrior 1, etc. If you have access to some kids’ yoga music, you can play a song, and do the yoga poses together. My sons love “Joggin Thru the Jungle”.
4. Bedtime Story ( Wednesday) We like to read a positive story to all three of our sons on Wednesday nights. There are so many books out there that teach mindfulness and tolerance. Don’t be afraid to read the same story each week. This can be your special story- creating that moment of magic each week. Here are some books that we read to or kids: Enlightening Tales: as told by Sri Swami Satchiananda, Good Night Yoga: a Pose by Pose Bedtime Story by Marian Gates, Yoko by Rosemary Wells, and My Daddy is a Pretzel by Baron Baptiste. If your child can read, take turns reading or let them read to you! Don’t forget to discuss the story too.
5. Pranayama / Breathing (Thursday) You can call it breathing or breath control, but we call it Pranayama in our house because our boys think it’s a fun word to say! Just a few of the benefits of Pranayama are: stress management, mental peace, and clarity of thought. Here are a few types of Pranayama you can practice together on any given weeknight:
- Deerga Swaasam (3 part breath – breathe in extending your belly, then your ribs, and then your chest,. Breathe out from your chest to your ribs to your belly, drawing your navel in. Breath in a positive thought, and breathe out a negative thought.
- Brahmari Breathing (Bumble Bee Breath) – Cover your eyes with your index fingers, and cover your ears with your thumbs. Breathe in and hum or om. The sound is like a bumble bee, and you can feel the vibration in your head.
- Bunny Breath – This is a fun quick Pranayama if you’re short on time. You inhale through your nose 3 quick breaths followed by a long exhale through your mouth.
- Worry Balloon – Imagine you and your child are blowing up a balloon, don’t forget to exaggerate it with your hands. Fill your balloons up with any worries you might have. Tie off the imaginary balloon, carry it to the front door, open the door, and let the worry balloon fly away.
6. Take a Nature Walk (Friday) Friday afternoon is a great time for this magical moment. You can pick up sticks and stones (bring a backpack), and observe the birds and squirrels in nature. I like to hold hands with my sons during our nature walks for that extra bit of magic!
7. A Calming Craft (Saturday) this is a great activity for a Saturday. Some easy, calming crafts are: sun catchers (materials needed-contact paper & tissue paper), peace flags (materials needed-fabric squares & markers), paint stones that you collect on your nature walk, dream catchers (materials needed-paper plates, yarn, beads, feathers, hole punch), make a mandala (glue beads in different circular designs on construction paper).
These are the ways our family creates magical moments each day. I’m sure once you create these magical moments with you kids, you will want it to last longer than just a few minutes because…it’s just magic!