5 Ways to Give Your Parenting a Spring Tuneup

Spring is the season of renewal and growth. So, put down your mop and dusting rags and set aside some valuable time for family this Spring.

Cheryl Butler
Episode #370

Tip #3:  Get Active as a Family

With eight kids, our family is involved in dozens of team and individual physical sports and activities. Even when they were young and in preschool, we have done simple things like walking in the park or riding bikes through our neighborhood just to stay active. Some families are definitely more active than others and in one of my favorite Mighty Mommy episodes, Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active, I teamed up with my colleague Ben Greenfield, Get-Fit Guy to list some out of the box ideas to keep our kids moving.  One of the most interesting parts of this episode was the study Ben shared with us. This study focused on the perception of children about their parents’ activity levels. In the study, researchers asked schoolchildren to rate how active they thought their parents were. Then they had those children complete a test of their own cardio fitness. The bottom line was that the study revealed that kids who perceived their parents to be physically active were more physically active than kids who didn’t feel their parents bothered much with exercise.  This shows us that our kids are paying attention to us as role models. So make this Spring a time to getting more active as a family.  Even if it’s going on nature hikes on the weekend or taking your dog for a brisk walk together after work, spending time doing something physical can be great for your family’s mind, body, and soul.

Tip #4: Focus on the Positive

If you’ve been following my podcast for a while now, you probably aren’t surprised by this tip!  While I definitely believe in setting boundaries and rules for my kids and enforcing consequences I am also a firm believer in focusing on the positive and not dwelling on the negative. One of my favorite parenting tools is “Catching My Kids Doing Something Good” and then praising them for it. It might be something as simple as noticing one of my sons unloaded the dishwasher when it wasn’t his turn because he knew I had to work late and wanted to help or something on much larger scale such as overhearing my daughter tell one of her friends to please not talk about one of their classmates behind her back because it made her uncomfortable to gossip. As you focus on all the new growth Mother Nature provides us this spring, don’t forget to hone in on all the positive aspects of raising a family.

Tip #5: Embrace Quiet Time

Did you ever stop to realize how much noise we have in our daily lives? Our electronic devices, cell phones, microwaves, car engines, vacuum cleaners, dogs barking, kids crying and laughing, TVs and iPods, the list goes on and on. Spring is a great time to embrace the change of seasons and also become more mindful of chilling out and enjoying the beauty of stillness.  Even if we can’t take an hour or two to regularly find some time to lay low, look closely at your weekly schedule to see where you can incorporate some mini blocks of time where your family can simply settle down. For our family, it’s right after dinner.  We power off the TV and our smart phones and have 15 minutes a few times a week where we eat dessert or just sit with one of our dogs on our laps and take in absolutely nothing but time with each other or ourselves. 

How does your family get renewed during spring? Share your thoughts in the Comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mightymommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com. Also visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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