Give a Gift of Yourself on Mother’s Day

Mother and daughter making friendship braceletsAs kids grow up, it’s increasingly challenging to retain that spontaneous love-gift shared on Mother’s Day. Rekindle it by being the one to offer it to your children. You might even be the biggest beneficiary!
Among my most precious Mother’s Day memories are the beautifully enunciated poems (lo-ver-ly Mommy) my children recited to me when they were 3 and 4 years old. I felt loved. They felt loving…and loved.

Even with older children, I strive to make Mother’s Day a time to rekindle that feeling of loving and being loved. It’s all the more vital since so much of our daily communication time is spent in instruction (“Did you do your homework?) and discipline (“When ____, _____, and _____ are done, you may play on the computer.”)

Kevin Leman (Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours) reminds us that discipline and instruction work best when the child knows he is loved. He quotes Larry Tomczak’s practical suggestion to helping kids feel loved.
- See children as gifts, as a privilege (vs. interruptions)
- Cultivate a child-like attitude and have fuuuun!
- Give the child direct eye contact
- Physically express love
- Be a good listener, using ears, eyes, mind, and heart
- Spend time together. Make memories

So, this Mother's Day spend time together making Friendship Bracelets; it’s a great way to help your kids feel loved. Listen as they select their pattern and color scheme, put your arms around them to help them get started, and have fun making them and wearing them.

Use the colors of your bracelet to tell them of your love for them. I made mine out of ribbons (so that I would wear it!) which I chose to reflect various facets of myself. The more somber color (disciplinarian mom) gets interwoven with the yellow zig-zag (my fun and wacky moods); the shiny orange (my deep love for them which brings me cheer) and nude suede (when my temper is raw) blend together naturally.

Earn their listening ear: Help the kids make their own friendship bracelets first.
Remember the goal: it’s NOT to make great bracelets (although it’s nice!) It IS to remind your children of how loved they are…and to feel loved in the process. Try these Helpful Hints to make your time together more enjoyable.
- Stimulate their desire for a friendship bracelet. We love Klutz books because they help us make beautiful crafts simply. All four of my boys (ages 13-6) selected a different bracelet and color scheme from the Klutz book (supplies are included.) They looked and wanted one.
- Invite them to share why they chose their colors. “Because it’s pretty, and I like it.”
- Help the kids get off to a good start. The beginning benefits from some slight adult intervention.
- Some of the bracelets take time to complete. Prepare them to make it in segments, just the length of a car ride or while you’re preparing dinner. (Note, there is a front and back face to the bracelet. Make sure to start up again on the correct side.)
- Remember the final goal is yet to come: you sharing about your bracelet. So, if they tire, consider finishing the bracelet for them. It’s your Mother’s Day gift to them!

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Comments
1. On Tuesday, May 29 2007, 07:01 by anne claire abeloos

this is a great idea to make a present to our kids for mother's day and offers the opportunity to spend quality time with them! I bought the book on amazon.fr which has the book in English and delivery is for free...

2. On Tuesday, June 5 2007, 11:19 by Denise

Did these with my kids. The biggest benefit for me was that everytime they wear them, I had another "excuse" to share how I felt loved. I tell them anyhow (not every day) but sometimes saying "I love you" sounds like rote words. These bracelets let me say it in a way we can both relate to. It'll last as long as the bracelets look nice and then I'll have to find another idea....or maybe you can for me!

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