Google+ Authentic Parenting: The Sweetest Treat: No Dessert After Dinner.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Sweetest Treat: No Dessert After Dinner.

Typically we eat dinner as a family, its usually a really fun time. Accounts of the favorite moments in the day, the occasional spilled sauce or splashed spaghetti and guaranteed laughter.The best part of dinner though is the sweet treat afterwards - but lately it hasn't been a food treat at all!

For the past few weeks, as dinner is wrapping up, the children and handsome hubby have been helping un-set the table and then they have traded dessert time for playing together for ten to fifteen minutes while I clean up.

At first, stuck in the kitchen, I felt a bit like just hired domestic help. Then I realized that this set up was a very sweet treat for all of us.

For the children it means undivided attention from papa, laughing, roughousing, jumping and deepening connection at its finest.

For handsome hubby it means a chance to enjoy his children who adore him and who have missed him all day. Its replenishing that love and attention all of us really need.

For me, it means a chance to do dishes and wipe counters uninterrupted but really I'm not just cleaning up the kitchen; I'm clearing my mind, sorting my thoughts, re-centering and focusing on me for just a wee bit of time. Then hearing the laughter puts me back, grounded and ready for the children's bed time.

The days we trade dessert time for play time, which have been more and more lately also seem to lead to smoother sailing when bed time rolls around.

I'm pretty sure that all that purposeful connection and laughter is helping all of us better work together at the end of the day. Getting three little ones washed, into pajamas, teeth brushed, stories read, all tucked in and asleep in about 40 minutes and before 8pm is possibly the sweetest treat of all.

How do you like to connect with your children at the end of the day?

Peace & Be Well,

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Image Credit: Ambro



  1. This sounds exactly like our house! Any time I get to clean up without a kid hanging on my leg is pure joy to me, honestly :)

  2. After dinner en during bath time is when my husband and I take the time to play and listen to our daughter. But as our son came into our lives it is mainly my husband who takes over while I feed our baby boy. it is wonderful to see them connect! After taking a long long bath she gets a story and lots of hugs kisses with lots of "I love you, sleep well" ;-)

  3. This is fabulous. When my children were younger, we did this, too. Now they are 5 and 7 we clean up together! I am an advocate for connection time with the members of our family. Thanks for the lovely post!

  4. We have "dance time" after dinner most nights. There is normally about 30 minutes between the end of dinner and time for our daughter's bathtime. So, we turn on some toddler tunes, and daddy and DD dance around while i get to do the dishes and watch as my husband makes a complete fool of himself to make her laugh. At first i felt the same way as you, i was the hired help to clean up. But, after he'd worked all day it was a fun way for them to connect and i was allowed 20 minutes or so to regather my thoughts over bubbles and dishes.


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