Parenting hack: Getting to know your kids

One of the things that sucks the most about losing a parent when you’re young is that you don’t have a chance to get to know them as an adult. The fact that there are people in the world that knew my own mom better than me is a weird concept. Hearing about her from them, isn’t the same thing. Their own filter of memories is based on their own perspective and life experiences. If she were around today, I’d want to know so many random things about her but they would all pertain to where I’m at in my own life.

As a mom myself, I bounce back and forth on a good way to provide this option for my kids. I’ve thought about writing them letters or setting up an email for them and occasionally emailing them to have my thoughts and feelings sitting there for them for the future. I haven’t actually done any of these things, but my intent is fulfilling my need for now. Shout out to anyone who executes this awesomeness. One day, maybe, I’ll do something.

In the meantime, we’ve started a simple first step where the kids can get to know us, and we can get to know them. I’m so interested to open up their little brains and see how their personalities and perspectives are forming and to watch them change as they get older.

At the end of the day, when we remember, we do best and worst. Each person shares the best part of their day and the worst part of their day. The only rules are that we only do it when everyone is there, and each person has to participate. You can say more than one best or worst from your day, you can ramble on or keep it short. Sometimes it takes five minutes, and sometimes it’s thirty. Sometimes we have a revelation that we didn’t have a worst and it was an awesome day. Sometimes someone’s worst is that they have a pain in their leg. No matter how long or interesting it is, it’s a wonderful and meaningful addition to our day. I hope the kids remember it when they’re older, but if they don’t, I sure will. It’s been so interesting seeing what everyone says. What a gift of insight into the importance level of things that happen through the day and how you affect those things. It also gives another level of clarity for priority decision making as a parent. We all know that you have to pick and choose where you dedicate your time with your kids and when they give you little glimmers of insight into how important that random school picnic is to them, you can plan accordingly.

I love that they are just as interested in hearing what their dad and I have to say about our days. It gives them a little glimpse into who we are as people, and gives us an opportunity to slow down and reflect on what’s going on in the present. Sometimes this part of life can breeze by so fast, but I relish these few moments when we remember to do them and hope my kids find a deeper connection to their dad and I as people as they grow older.

An added bonus is that it helps my husband and I connect too. We can get so busy going through the logistics of the day, our “how was your day?” answers are surface level and vanilla. This helps bring us as a couple and a family closer and more in tune with what’s going on.

I hope you try best and worst with the important people in your life. What other things do you do that bring you closer? How do you fit it in your daily or weekly routine? Comment below.

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