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6 Little Things That Make a Big Difference

Savor the Moment

Between work, chores, and our kids' activities, life can become so hectic and harried that you find yourself racing from one deadline to the next. The result: little room for spontaneity. And that's too bad because being spontaneous drives home the point of flexibility better than anything else.

Kids need routines to give them a sense of predictability and control, but they don't have to be rigid. Even bedtimes and mealtimes can be more easygoing to allow for a special event—when grandparents come to visit, for instance.

The key to being more flexible is to underschedule your day: Plan on doing fewer errands or chores. Say you're washing laundry when your preschooler exclaims, "Let's have a picnic!" Why not have one? Your willingness to modify your schedule to do something fun will teach your child the art of reranking priorities, validate her ideas, and demonstrate how important it is to spend special moments together.