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37 Comments

  1. MARLENE FANNON says:

    Sounds worth a try. It’s just me and my grandson, but we don’t get quality time together often enough.

  2. I loved reading this because this is what I do with my kids. It’s my favorite part of my day. We get home and have “night night” as my toddler likes to call it. It’s a sweet moment before the chaos ensues!

  3. Hi – I love the idea, especially since my daughter starts school for the first time next week. However, I foresee one issue: my daughter won’t want the cuddle time to end and it will erupt in tears. We have a similar routine in the morning where we cuddle in bed before getting dressed, but 5 out of 7 times there are whines and tears because she doesn’t want it to end, no matter how much we forewarn her that the end is near. Do you have ideas on how to prevent this?

    1. I also have difficult issues with my children never wanting happy moments to end so instead of ending on a happy note every transition is tears or anger.

      1. Brianna Allen says:

        See my comment above maybe a timer would help with you too!

    2. Brianna Allen says:

      I have four kiddos with autism. They NEVER want an activity to end. So what I do (and it works just about EVERY SINGLE time) is set a timer. Set a timer for 5 min. One she can see. I use my phone time and they can see the count down. Plus, then it’s all on the timer. The TIMER said it’s time to be done, not mommy. Just a suggestion. ?

    3. Yes, it is so hard to stop a good thing. I have noticed at swim class and music class there is a goodbye routine. I think it helps the kids transition. At swim class, they sing the goodbye song, do high fives with hands, flippers, and then they get to go get two stamps if they get out of the pool right away. At music class, there is a goodbye song with waving and everybody’s name. Always a sweet way to end. I’ve never tried it at home but I’ll bet it would help. Also, asking a question about what’s next- when we get out of bed, would you like to have your snack or ride your bike? Or, would you like apples or oranges with your snack? Or, honestly, sometimes I get up and let them stay in their happy place for awhile. “I have to go do ___. Would you like to come with me or stay here and read a book? I can come check on you in 5 minutes.”

    4. set an alarm on your phone – preferably one that plays happy music or her favourite tune, and let her know cuddle time ends when the song plays. you could also try to ensure that the next thing she does after cuddles is fun – like cutting veggies for you or something.

    5. A timer works well here as my oldest needs to see his boundaries. Maybe try that?

    6. This is my exact issue!

    7. Tell your child that fun cuddle time is a privilege that you don’t want to take away, but if fits are pitched it won’t happen again the next day. It will only take a few mistakes to solidify the point. It will teach them gratitude and respect and In the end will make that special time even more enjoyable!

  4. I am looking forward to doing this with my daughter. Alot of evenings this is the last thing we get to do. Earlier sounds grwat!

  5. Kristen Cotter says:

    That’s brilliant and beautiful. Am adopting your idea and sharing :)

  6. I love this idea!!! Thanks!

  7. kaye herbert says:

    We have 3 boys, ages 6, 4 & 2. My 6 yr old just started school outside the home today, about pick him up. I am going try , but imagining it will turn into a jumping wrestling experience, as my little guys often do! I was planning on doing our normal 3pm activity, we lovingly call “tea time” & the boys cherish this daily routine after the 2 year old naps. We have tea & snacks at the table & i read a few different books, poems, & we chat.

    1. Tea time, what a great idea! I love the cuddle idea too but my son also. Would turn it to an active play session that gets me frustrated. I love tea time idea with books because it would calm him as well as get reading in more. I’m excited to try it!

  8. I have two daughters and they have such different schedules and different ways of connecting too. When my 9-year old and I go to ballet class on Tuesday and Thursday, we get there 15 minutes before class begins. Most of the time we do not even get out of the car, and when we do it’s because we make a habit of arriving early, walk in smiling, eager to meet people, encouraging a chance to make friends. Those 15 minutes are great for both of us; as a bonus, when we occasionally arrive ‘late for being early’, we feel calm because we know we will not miss the beginning of class. We chat, we listen, we connect! Sometimes we share a newfound song or read a poem (cheesy, yes, but the best library books we keep in the car are poetry books!) My 13y.o. and I have started to sit in her room together in the minutes after her younger sister has her lights turned out. She could stay up all night if not reminded how important sleep is! I find if I go in there at the same time each night, she has been waiting for me with stories or a shopping list or maybe she is in a rush to finish and assignment, but she paces herself to this moment. She is allowed to stay up after when I leave, but those minutes together open up her world to me and calm her down so she can focus on sleep. With her I have found that the key is listening, quietly waiting for what she might begin to tell me.

  9. This is such a lovely idea! Going to try this. I can feel my 6 year old pulling away from me after school he doesn’t want to talk. He just grabs an apple and sits in front of the TV and all I get is distracted uh huhs from him.
    Hoping this will help!

  10. I have three boys. By now they are 15,13 and 11. When they come home and the sun is shining through our huge French doors, we lay on the carpet and soak in the rays. Then one after the other tells me this and that. This doesn’t always happen, since some days they come home in separate times, but we always take a moment to be still, to bind, to say nothing but feel each others’ presence.
    It means the world to them….and me.

  11. Christina says:

    My 6 year old asked me to write to you to say “Thank you!” The stress of our morning and bedtime routines was taking its toll on everyone in our home. After I read your article, I told my 6 year old about how your family reconnects before moving on to the to-do list–she beamed and said “let’s do it, Mommy”. Do, that afternoon we re-worked our am/pm routine card to reflect and honor our connection/cuddle time! Here’s to happier mornings, better sleep and an abundance of love; I call that a win!

  12. I love this idea! Oh my goodness! My little guys are only 2, but I love ideas like this that I can file away for the future. They still snuggle on my lap before naps and bedtime, but I know that won’t last forever. I am really looking forward to getting in on this practice when they are bigger (But not rushing it, of course! :) Thanks, Kelly! Always enjoy your material!

  13. Family cuddle time, I definitely love the sound of that! With 3 kids, I’ve totally experienced those days when everything is in go-go-go mode. Thank you for sharing this, this is a great reminder that no matter how busy we might get, it’s important to give time for cuddles and spend quality time with the family.

  14. Diane Kennedy says:

    Wow this is an awesome idea… I’m not a parent yet but I’m the oldest child in my family so I kinda have parent roles to play. This would definitely help in building a better relationship with my siblings… thanks a lot for sharing :)

  15. I feel like you peeled open my life and took a peek inside. This is absolutely wonderful. I’m startimg tomorrow!

  16. Spending some time with your kids knowing what they did at the school or at his/her friend’s place will help you in later stage. A grown-up kid will always be comfortable talking with moms rather than dads because they feel that mom will understand more than a dad. This happens when a kid has not spent time talking to dad from their childhood. So it is very important for both parent to know what are theirs kids doing the whole day.

  17. I find on days when I sit with my daughter and chat casually while she has an after-school snack, the rest of the evening goes so much more smoothly. It’s a 15 minute investment for a night of genuine fun as a family. In winter will try the cuddle thing though! Thanks.
    Can you do me a favour and change your bio so that it doesn’t read as though you are the mother of a recovering perfectionist? Ta. (I have the same problem.)

  18. I love your article, especially because my kids love the cuddle time. This is so true. Short but sweet moments are always remembered and we treasure it.

  19. Rebecca Turner says:

    My 7 year old son and I like to draw pictures or spell words on each others backs with our finger, and we have to guess what it was. Rather we guess right or not, we still take turns. He loves this activity for our MBSTime.

  20. This is such a sweet idea! We are constantly on the go after school too. Now that we have kids coming home at 2 different times, I’m not sure if it would work, but it’s definitely worth a try!

  21. This is such a simple yet impactful piece of advice. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Sabrina Johnston says:

    I LOVE this! We are a blended family, and our daughters are 14 and 16, so cuddle time in bed may be a bit awkward, but I’m certain we can find our own version of this. Plus we just moved from Colorado to Texas, so these moments have become increasingly important! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  23. A similar idea we follow has also meant immense change for the good. I try to spend up to half an hour with each child: works with 3/5 right before their bed-time 1:1. They empty out happiness, sadness, hurt, frustration, fear etc helping us connect and giving me insights and calming them for sleep. As important for me as them because it’s time aside from functionality. As 1 of 5 each needs their own personal niche! We try to connect as a family around the table by including gentle guessing games. Love reading others ideas hope this is also interesting for someone.

  24. I love this! Being intentional and mindful about your time together. :) Thanks so much for the ideas!

  25. Jurrien Collins says:

    After school routine in our house includes computer time. My daughter gets off the bus, we jump into the car and drive back to her school to grab her brothers (Tae doesn’t want to stop riding her bus, and since the bus drives by my house anyway I allow it, however we live too close to the school for the boys to take a bus so they are walkers). We grab the boys, and drive back home. The four of us attempt to get in the house without the dogs escaping *L*.

    From 2:40-3 everyone grabs snacks. 3-4 Tae uses the computer and I help Tony with his homework. From 4-5 Tony uses the computer and I help Taelin with her homework. At some point between 3-5 I also help Davan. From 5-6 or 6-7 Davan uses the computer. While I am helping the kids do their homework I am also checking their folders. While making dinner unneeded papers go into the recycling bin, pictures/work goes in a pile until I can discreetly place it into the recycling bin (I made the mistake of getting busted once, hooboy)

  26. I absolutely love this idea, Kelly! Starting the evening with that downtime gives everyone a chance to relax and start the evening fresh from the stresses of the day. And who can’t use a little more cuddle time with their kids? Brilliant!

  27. I’ve done this in the past and loved it – I need to reinstate it!

  28. Alex & Bethany Tandon says:

    I love this sound of this, but I’m curious about what it might look like in the home school situation where you aren’t coming back together after having been apart. Any suggestions on how to apply this great idea in a different context?