Jump-Start your family's day and spread joy

 Question of the Day: How does your family start its day?

 Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment. ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

Each day at our house begins roughly the same.

We shower and get ready quickly — just moments before we know we’ll hear the foot shuffle of little people walking and stirring awake.

Downstairs, the lunches are made, bags are packed and homework is already tucked into binders.

And the second we see our girls, we stop everything and beam at the sight of them.

We might be really busy, and feeling really rushed but this moment is the only one that counts.

The moment that matters.

This is when we let our children know we really see them.

We’re genuinely excited to talk to them after that nearly 12-hour gap in “Mommy, can you help me” and “Daddy, can we snuggle.”

That quiet during sleep is our time apart. That is our break.

So when we reunite, we have a choice on how we react and respond — with eagerness and joy to start our day, or with dread and the feeling of interruption, disruption and inconvenience.

How do you want to be greeted?

Jump Start your family's day

I choose with joy and light. Gentle and reassuring. Loving but not overkill.

“Good morning, Sunshine,” I belt out, embracing her warm body, bed head and smelly bed breath and all — at a mere 6:05 a.m.

And then I do it all over again when her twin sister wakes a tiny bit later.

This is when we make or break a day — ours and our children’s.

This is when, we the parents, have a choice to set a tone for a day of awesome or a day of dread.

This is when our children can be coached and mentored into demonstrating a good attitude or a bad one — and when we choose our own.

The moment that matters.

“Are you ready to have a great Tuesday?” I ask with a smile in my voice because I mean it and I want those kinds of positive vibes to travel into their amazing minds even though they are tired, even though they are worn out by the school year, and even though they’d rather stay home and play sometimes.

They nod their heads in affirmation.

Smiles form around their lips.

Their eyes start to shine.

They sit up a bit straighter.

They begin to see the opportunity of a Tuesday. They visualize themselves having a fantastic day. They know at this instant that no one can take their joy.

The dreads melt away.

And then they shuffle off, get dressed and start their day.

The moment that matters.

Jump Start your family's day with a dose of joy

At night, after a long day of learning, play and chores, we reunite at bedtime, repeating the same ritual night after night after night.

“I love you to the moon and back. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. See you in the morning. Sweet dreams.”

And then I whisper in their ears …

“Tomorrow’s going to be a great day!”

The moment that matters.

Question of the Day: How does your family start its day?

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