Happy Hiking

Photo (C) Hinterland Photo 2010

One afternoon my daughter and I went on a hike. By the end, we were both tired, hungry and cranky. I felt my patience and strength slipping as my daughter whined, “Carry me!”

A part of me just wanted to push through and get the hike over with, but then I thought maybe a little impromptu special time might shift the mood. I asked my daughter if she’d like to have special time right here on our hike. Her face lit up and she said, “Yes! Can we play ‘little girl’?” (This is a game where she pretends she is the momma and I’m the little girl.) I said, “Of course.”

She took the lead and climbed up every rock she could find then jumped off. She encouraged me to do the same. Instead of being the capable momma who can do anything, I played scared and begged her to hold my hands and help me. She loved this.

It was amazing to watch her go from tired and cranky to energetic and confident. I loved watching her determination as she tackled some larger rocks and hearing her proclaim, “I believe in myself!” as she jumped from smaller rocks without help.

I’m glad we didn’t push through the hike just to get it over with. We were both much happier in the end with the slower pace and taking time to delight in our Special Time.

Messy Loud Real-Life ParentingDo you want more suggestions on how to use Special Time? Check out our free video series. In the first video, you’ll get a step by step guide to using Special Time and some fun examples of what it can look like. Get your videos now.

– Michelle Pate, Parenting by Connection Instructor and Consultant. Connect with her on Facebook.

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