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Week 35| Back to School: Lunch Box Notes & Dinner Convo

Just over a week and our kiddies will be off for another school year. I cannot believe it – where on earth have all the years gone?! I swear I was just sending our son off to kindergarten and now he will be a sophomore and our daughter an eighth grader. And my little sister is sending her little guy off to preschool – wait, what?! Wasn’t he just a newborn like yesterday… Sigh…

Sadly, our people grow up way tooooo quickly! For all those Mamas sending their kiddies off to preschool & kindergarten, enjoy every single moment – it FLIES by!!

Lunch Box Notes

One of my favorite things to do when our kids were in elementary school was to write little notes for their lunch boxes. {Our daughter still allows it, our son... NEVER} I have to say that my Mom was not that kind of Mom. I remember looking around the lunch table at other kids who had “those kind of Moms” and wishing it were me. Not that my Mom didn’t love us but there were no little notes in our lunch boxes – heck most days we bought our lunch at school or packed our own. {Yep, I am THAT mom that still packs my kids lunches… I know, I know – they are plenty capable of packing their own lunches (and have had to when Ben & I have been away) but I choose to do it each morning for them.} While it certainly didn’t kill me to buy my lunch, pack my own or not have a little note from my Mom – I swore I was going to be THAT Mom that I was envious of.

So do it… be THAT Mama that writes a little note to your child {no matter what age} – sure there are plenty of printables you can find on Pinterest if you want to be SUPER fancy. Or you can just take a bunch of plain white notecards & some sharpies to create your own. I have done both. I have to say that I was thrilled one day while packing our daughter’s lunch to find that she had been collecting each & every note in the front pocket of her lunch box at the time. Seriously!? Saving her notes from her Mama – my heart almost exploded. She loved the notes so much she couldn’t toss them in the trash. {and that my friends is why you write the notes...}

I was going to be the Mom who threw the themed birthday parties {you can check out that blog post here}... the Mom who went on field trips/school trips… the Mom who did all the things because I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my Mom when I was growing up {although our relationship is completely different today}. Yep… I did it – I was that Mom. Add Girl Scout Co-Leader to the list… all the things, I was doing all the things.

Another thing that is really important to me is dinner time. It was always a big deal when we were growing up – generally all around the table chatting up our days. I think it’s super important to have that time as a family. I know it can be super crazy with sports/activity schedules but we have always done our best to make dinner time a priority. Not only dinner time but real conversations about our day during dinner time. The things our kids have told us over dinner have made for some great memories, no doubt. Not to mention it has kept the lines of communication open with them – from everything from “the talk” in fifth grade, to losing a classmate in a tragic accident and the aftermath of such a horrible event in a small town, to a forfeited season due to poor decisions and more…

Not even sure what to talk to your kids about at dinner time? Or ask them how their day was and get the old shoulder shrug and “fine.” Pinterest. Really – it can solve all your parenting dilemmas… Ok, not really but there are great ideas on there for all sorts of things. Dinner time conversation starters to general conversation starters and more…

A favorite in our house is: What was the best part of your day? {Because surely we all have crappy days on occasion but who wants to dwell on that when you are sitting down at dinner with your family?! Sure that is the time to talk through things but for one minute lets talk about the good in our day before diving into what may have really just sucked… And then of course we can talk about what may have gone wrong. Generally once you’ve talked about the good it makes what was really crappy not so bad after all or helps to put things in perspective.}

So again do it – tell those kiddies how much you love them… verbally, by lunch box notes… whenever & always. Keep that communication open – let them know that no matter what their age, you are always there for them. I have explained to my kids a thousand times that we understand that they may make choices that we won’t necessarily agree with – yep, we are well on our way into the teen years BUT we were all teens. It’s going to happen… AND if you keep the communication going, with any luck things will turn out ok?!

Enjoy this last full week of summer! XO, Danica


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