With all that is going on in the world today, I have really been thinking about making the little things count. We hear a number of times, especially when we are stressed or under pressure, ” Don’t sweat the small stuff” but sometimes, it’s the small stuff that gets us through. ( In addition, stressed, is desserts spelled backwards :)The tips team and I have put together a number of ideas on how to have low to no cost time and experiences with not only your hubby but your kids in previous articles. Only recently, I realized that for all the planning and time and effort that may go into some of those times, my kids and I forget the small details of what happened.
So, how about having your kids make a scrapbook or perhaps the family making a scrapbook. It doesn’t have to be all *that* complicated. You can sometimes find theme photo albums that have the pretty paper as the back drop and all you have to do is insert the pictures. You can use photo graphs or your child(ren)’s drawings. You can also insert small index cards with text that your kids have written on about their experience or describing the picture nearby. You could also do something online. I have a photo blog link from Shutterfly. I periodically let my nine year old type about his experiences on there and can limit who sees these links to family and friends who have the link. This keeps them up to date on what we are doing – perhaps even see how a gift of a family membership to a children’s museum, amusement park, or movie gift card was being used.
Having your children journal their experiences may also be the start of a life-long activity that will hopefully show them the things that they have to be grateful for. It also creates a place of sanctuary that they can learn to write their feelings, hopes, and dreams. This can certainly be something that they will look back upon when they are older and marvel at if nothing more for the handwriting and spelling of words. My kids take a small journal pad with them when we take nature hikes. That way they can document (writing or drawing) what we saw, heard or even something that they may want to look up when we return home – such as an animal or type of leaf, etc.
Teaching your children to reach out and help others is another way that you can teach them how little things can have a big impact. Whether it is helping a neighbor or expectant mom with grocery shopping (obviously with your help) , helping to pick up sticks or leaves in someones yard who may have trouble doing it, or bringing in the trash can or recycle bin from the street for someone on vacation, etc. These are all little things that can help our children realize that the world does not revolve solely around them. Sit down with your kids and see if they can help with the brainstorming for ideas. You may be surprised at what your little ones notice or even think of as a way to help.
Let’s face it, if little things didn’t matter or add up, then the phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” wouldn’t be around. I challenge you to find what little ways you can your family can make a difference and possibly make the load a little lighter for someone else. Good luck!