Teach Kids to Embrace Life
by Sarah Lyons
Dec 27, 2022
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Live life to the fullest”? My first thought was something daring and adventurous like rock climbing, skydiving, running a marathon, or traveling the world. For some, these things might sound fun and exciting but others may go to extreme measures to avoid these activities altogether. While these activities may be fun on occasion and a great way to live life to the fullest, most of our lives are lived in day-to-day activities, not the high that comes after an exciting adventure. How can we as parents embrace life during the routine of daily life and pass that priority on to our children?


Laughter is truly the best medicine and can turn your entire day around. If you are mad, sad, or just feeling bored, finding something to laugh about can change your attitude for the better. After laughing so hard that tears are streaming down my face or until my face hurts from smiling, my heart feels fuller and the worries seem lighter. Laughter can’t wipe away all your troubles but it can turn your day around and help you appreciate and bond with the other people in your life. Laugh with your kids and allow them to be silly and laugh. Life passes too quickly not to find some humor along the way. Enjoying moments of fun and laughter with people you love is a great way to embrace life.


Today’s society encourages us to rush from one thing to the next and fill up every waking moment. Try to pause and appreciate the beauty around you. Take time to notice the sunrise in the morning, appreciate the fresh snow on the ground, watch squirrels chase each other and point these things out to your kids. Show your kids how to taste their food, take deep breaths of fresh air, and snuggle a little longer before bed. You don’t have to stop participating in activities you and your kids enjoy, but when you have a free moment, pause to enjoy it.


Encourage your kids to meet new people and the joy of making a new friend. One of life’s joys is connecting with other people and the experience of being part of a community. If you are at a park playing, encourage your child to say hello to another kid their age. If your child has a new classmate, suggest they go out of their way to include them at recess. Welcome a new neighbor by taking a plate of cookies to their door and introducing yourselves. This may be out of your comfort zone, but it is worth it to make a new friend. A great way to embrace life is through relationships with people in our community.


Offer support when your child expresses interest in trying something new or if they want to set a goal for themself. Finding new hobbies and activities they love can help kids understand their place in life and feel part of a group or team. This is a great way to embrace and love the life they are living. Trying new things can be overwhelming but the reward can far outweigh the risk and sense of accomplishment your child will feel when they reach their goal.


One way to appreciate the blessings you have in life, is to give back to those in need. Consider serving your community as a family. Ideas could include collecting non perishable foods for a local food pantry, doing yard work for a neighbor, taking a meal to a friend in need, hosting a playdate for a mom who needs a break, writing thank you cards to teachers, or lending a hand when you see someone who needs help in the grocery store. Your kids will follow your lead and will begin to not only notice what they have to be thankful for but to pass that joy along to others as well.


As I have watched each of my kids grow and mature, the temptation is to feel sad that time is passing so quickly. I have also found myself looking forward to events and milestones in the future with anticipation or worry. When I am stuck in either of these mindsets, I miss what is going on today and forget to appreciate the joys and challenges my kids are experiencing. The best balance is to live in the here and now and teach your kids to do the same. When you are spending time together, enjoy that moment rather than worrying about yesterday or tomorrow.


Eat a sprinkled donut

Give someone a hug or a

high five

Read a book

Have a playdate with a friend

Bake a cake for no reason

Try a new restaurant

Have a campout in the living


Take the kids to the dollar

store and pick out one item

Eat your dessert first

Go to a movie

Eat dinner together

Play a game

Have a dance party

Tell silly jokes

Share a blessing from today

As I reflect on these tips, I see a theme. The things that matter in life are people and time. How you spend your time and who you spend it with are what makes for a happy and fulfilled life. Adventures like ziplining, vacations, and skiing are fun and exciting and certainly produce joy in our lives but that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace the wonderful moments in our daily lives as well. Laugh hard, love fiercely, try new things, talk (and listen) to people in your life, slow down to see the beauty in the world around you. Your child is watching you and learning how to live life to the fullest from your example. Embrace the life you are living right now before the moment passes by.

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