Meaningful moments with kids

Last Updated on April 8, 2024

There is just something about creating meaningful moments with my family that is more fulfilling to me than most things. 

I enjoy using my expressive and artsy side to incorporate fully immersive experiences. It can be hard to pull our families back in from the world with all of its attachments through constant accessibility, screen time, video games, sports, practices, team events, travel sports, school, and so many varieties of activities that take up space in our lives.

There is a challenge in bringing the family together and directing attention to each person, seeing each one, and drawing out laughter and joy without distraction.

The key to meaningful moments is creating times where our children are aware that they are known, seen, heard, and more than worth it.

As moms, we tend to have a sensitivity, awareness, and intuitive side for our children. We Know Them. 

We’ve learned and will continue to learn who they are as they grow. We know their interests, dispositions, personalities, and preferences. We can create moments and memories specific to and just for them.

Meaningful moments with our teen

I have three children, and each one of them is so different. With my oldest, a dance party or sitting at the piano and singing creates connection and a meaningful moment. My oldest keeps in contact throughout the day through memes, reels, and texting. This child is more of a balance between extrovert and introvert, and her love language is quality time. That’s just who she is. 

She’s already dating and has brought a boyfriend into the mix. We enjoy hanging out with both of them. We’ve created a time to get to know him and incorporate him into our family life. When we first met him, I decided we would do a “spill the tea” time where we drank whatever drinks we preferred in heirloom china we never use and just talk. 

He’s enjoyed this time, and our oldest has appreciated the intentionality too. In the winter, we had a hot chocolate talk on the front porch in our rockers under heated blankets. These are different experiences and moments that become routine and familiar to encourage safety, connection, and reassurance that we’re there and we love them.

How to support our kids

Connecting with our middle child

With my middle, he’s much more like pulling putty out of the jar. He is an internal processor, so he thinks a lot about what he says. It takes patience and intentionality to draw him out. We play one-on-one games like UNO, Skipbo, or Phase 10 early in the morning or when everyone else is occupied.

It takes about half an hour for him to settle in and ask questions or engage. I use decks of cards with questions on them that I get off of Amazon called “Offline Connections” or “Ask Your Mother,” and the conversation just flows. (Here are some similar cards you might enjoy! – Talking Point Conversation Cards)

My middle finds connection through wit and humor, so getting that side of him to surface is so much fun too. He’s contemplative and analytical, matter-of-fact, perceptive, and always observing and sensitive.

His love language is affirmation. When he was little, he would always say, “See that!?” in his little toddler voice, and he’d want you to notice and validate him for connection. He processes deeply, so providing space to think and talk when he’s ready is most ideal.

Creating moments with our youngest child

My youngest is our most curious child. He is also my most apprehensive. He loves to play sports. If he never had to lay down and sleep, he’d just be on the move. He is entirely extroverted and lights up the room with his big personality, strong will, and opinions. 

He enjoys time with everyone, but if we spend one-on-one time, he wants to be learning or doing something more active. So we go on walks, workout, swim, or do projects together. He will go on talking forever, so reeling him in to think about the deeper things is most important. 

When he has this time to verbally process as the extrovert he is, he’s much more settled and present in who he is. His love languages are definitely quality time and gifts. If he gets surprised with his favorite snack, soft drink, or something to just say I thought of you, he’s on Cloud 9.

Connecting ideas for parents and kids

Each of our children is in different places with different needs, and I’m sure yours are too! With multiple kids, finding the activities that all our kids want to do is not always easy, especially in the teen years.

We can always ask them, but sometimes it takes us noticing what matters to them to help create intentional moments. The key is finding activities that will both invigorate them and fill their cup.

When your kids are young, all it might take is a trip to the park, bubbles, chalk, or getting ice cream to spark their joy. This still works for us from time to time, but as my kids have gotten older, it’s about making the most of the time. I’ve learned that when we spend intentional time with our children, we learn more about who they are as we make space for them to share their thoughts. 

Don’t forget to let your kids ask you questions and share! 

As a therapist, I’ve learned to create a non-judgmental space to let my children explore who they are freely and to guide them where they’re at. I give them agency and autonomy by validating how they’re feeling and reflecting back what they’ve said. 

Sometimes all it takes is one statement- “Tell me your thoughts on that.” And we will learn more about their world, their perspective, their feelings, and their needs. 

  • If all else fails, a themed movie night will do the trick. Take a trip to the store, get their favorite snacks, and snuggle up.
  • Pick a song for the season, moment, or each child, and dance your hearts out.
  • Or go outside and play flashlight tag or capture the glow stick.

Building lasting connections with our children requires knowing them, learning their personalities (love languages, emotions, learning styles, needs, etc.) and letting them know we love who they are. 

Our Father in Heaven knows every hair on our heads. He knows us, and He loves us. He’s created a world for us to explore and enjoy. He’s given us senses and emotions to take it in and find meaning in the beauty of it. We can show our children how to do this and create a life of present moments and lasting memories. 

So climb mountains. Go to the theme park. Make messy art. Jump into the cold pool. Get in on the driveway basketball game (even if you can’t play). Hold them, hug them, support and join them in their hobbies, and laugh. Play and make life with your kids an adventure in whatever capacity and ways work for you. 

Savor this and don’t miss it. You will never regret making meaningful memories with your children.