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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Child-free or child-centered Mother’s Day?

Most would not dispute the fact that mothers, for the most part, are busy individuals. And with Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, thoughts are on how to best recognize the mothers in our lives. I’ve noticed a lot of us posting giveaways (mothers like surprises), gift ideas (will all need a little help) and tips on how or what to do for mother.

Some of us like to spend the time doing something that represents us as a woman or individual like going to the spa, sleeping in while the kids are out with someone else, half the day with children and the other half with hubby… the ideas and choices are endless on what can be done.

child's imagination Charlotte Reznick, PhD - a child psychologist, associate clinical professor or psychology at UCLA and author of the bestselling book “The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success” – says there’s an immediate benefit to spending quality time with your child and suggests that it’s something to consider this Mother’s Day.

The quality time is said to benefit children in a number of ways including lowering the obesity rate and scoring higher on verbal tests. Those of us who have more than one child may need a few ideas on how to maximize our Mother’s Day time if children are included in the activities. And I have a couple of suggestions (and keep reading for fabulous ideas from Dr. Reznick)…

 amber in her room Since I have children from two different generations it takes a bit of planning and organization to fit everyone in. But, overall, my main goal is to have a relaxing day. The first idea involves the entire family:

  • Even if you’re being served breakfast in bed make it a family affair. Mom gets the tray of goodies and everyone else perches on nearby chairs or the floor to enjoy the company. The key to this is for someone else to be responsible if the children make a mess or need help. put your heads together 003While eating the “person in charge” can ask younger children, “What do you like most about mommy?” Older children can be asked, “What do you appreciate the most about mommy?” If you’re an adult treating your mom to this; try beginning a conversation with “Thanks for all you’ve done. I really appreciate your…”breakfast in bed
  • To spend time individually, focus on things that mother and child like to do together. Preferably a hobby or something. For instance, my middle daughter enjoys photographer so it would be fun to spend an hour taking pictures outdoors, loading them onto the computer then making cards or notes for people we love. We shared our time doing something we both love, did a project and thought of someone else in the process. What types of things do you and your child like to do together? My only son likes bugs and critters, so getting a book about them or looking something up on the Internet and finding it in our yard would be a delightful time for him.

Here are a few of Dr. Reznick’s ideas:

  • Make a card together and pick someone you both want to send it to. (I really like that I had the same idea as she did.) Creatively decorate paper that’s been folded in half, write a message, add a picture of the two of you, if you like then mail it together.
  • Make self portraits by drawing the outline of your bodies on an old sheet then decorate with words, symbols, pictures, markers, crayons, paint, etc.
  • Make a movie using a Smart phone, flip cam or other video camera and produce a movie, talent show or skit that you can post on YouTube (or host a viewing!) to share with family and friends.

Dr. Reznick creates therapeutic relaxation CDs for children, teens and adults as well as teaches workshops on the healing power of children’s imaginations. Learn more at

Blogger’s note: I haven’t reviewed Dr. Reznick’s book, but I did look over her website and I found her information to be fascinating, interesting and well worth the time and effort to implement her techniques. I simply decided to write this post because the press release about bonding with children on Mother’s Day interested me.

Leave me a comment and let me know whether you’re going to have a child-centered or child-free Mother’s Day!

mother's day flowersHave a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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