For me, that is. I have slowly (too slowly, really) come to the realization that my children get along so much better when they have a cooperative task on which to work/play together. As a social psychologist this should have dawned on me long ago–superordinate goals! But I often find that all of my education and training is forgotten when it comes to the kids. I get so caught up in the energy of the situation that I frequently don’t stop and think. Ah, the need for mindfulness–we meet again!
Last weekend I let mindfulness enter into the equation while L1 was out for the day. I knew that if the kids didn’t become engrossed in an all-consuming activity, together, we were going to have a rough time–squabbling and crying for sure. So I started creating an outdoor scavenger hunt for them and told them to get ready for it, complete with collecting bags. L3 quickly realized he didn’t have what he considered to be an appropriate collecting bag. What’s a mama to do? Yes–make him one! I whipped him up a bag to his specifications, included a flap. Not only can he use it for treasure collecting, but it will also double for part of his Indian Jones dress-up ensemble.
When we at last tumbled into the bright sunshine of the day, the kids went to town, running all over, exploring the yard, showing each other their secret spots and tunnels through the vegetation and following their scavenger hunt list. They had only gotten a small way through the list by the time L1 returned home and we had to leave for other activities. It didn’t matter, though. The L children had fun, peace reigned for the afternoon, and Mama remembered to breath.