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California State PTA Holistic Moms Network MOPS PALS MOMS CLUB

By Traci L. Carman

If you are on my newsletter list, last month you read about “You and Me, Kid” cards as meaningful stocking stuffers that you can make in just a few minutes. If you missed that newsletter, or were not able to put that together in time for Christmas, I wanted to share it with you this month, so you can begin using them to create beautiful quality time with your children throughout the new year. It’s time to have fun!

Here’s what you do: if you have business cards (or something of a similar size), write on the front of the card “You and Me, Kid.” On the back of the card, write something that you want to do with your child, or something that you want to provide for your child. Then decorate the card as much or as little as you want (a little “bling” goes a long way, especially for girls).

Over the years, I have written things like:

* dinner with mom
* movie with mom
* alone time with mom
* snuggle time with mom and a book
* quality time for whatever you want to do
* favorite restaurant
* ice cream
* trip to the park

Think of their favorite meal you can cook, a favorite place to eat, trips to the park, reading time, movie time, treats, or enjoyable adventures, etc. You are giving them cards that entitle them to time with you doing something they enjoy. Thus, “You and Me, Kid” card.

Once you have made your cards and delivered them (perhaps a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift), be sure to make them easily available to your child (store on their dresser or in a special place in the house), and remind your child to use the cards when they want quality time with you.

You can give as many as you like! Just be sure they are things you will do. If you cannot meet a particular request in the moment (example: they want to redeem their favorite dinner when you have already started making a different dinner), be sure to “make a date” to do it as soon as possible. Literally … make an appointment with your child for that time together.

This little ritual will build connection, trust, respect and love, and provides built-in opportunities for quality time all year long … if you let them. Have fun with it. There are so many wonderful things your children would love to do with you! Take advantage of this time. They grow fast.

Wishing you amazing family time in 2014!