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The 9 most important minutes of your child’s day

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Hello friends!

How are you enjoying the 5th month “summer”? In our house, we’ve found more of a rhythm now. Masks are the norm when we go outside, and we still spend most of our time with each other.  But “more” time together doesn’t always mean quality time. It is so easy to be with each other, but not “with” each other. I might have been eating dinner with my daughters tonight, but my mind was racing 100 other places.  Affective Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp would say this is okay. His research suggests that we don’t HAVE to be present with our children 24/7, but that we should give our best energy to what he calls “the most important 9 minutes of our child’s day.” These minutes are:

  • The first 3 minutes after our children wake up.

  • The first 3 minutes after work, play (or in past times, a school day.) 

  • The last 3 minutes before bed. 

Comforting right? For writers, those are often the minutes for storytelling about dreams last night or the highs and lows of the day. They are the minutes to hug, look them in the eye, and remind them you are their number one fan. 


Questions I like to ask:

  • Did you dream about me last night? (Haha.)

  • Tell me something I don’t know.

  • What was the best part of today?

I accept all answers, non-answers, hugs, and shrugs. (I have teenagers.)


But no matter what, they are getting 9 minute reminders that I care. 


Best wishes for many great minutes with your writers this summer,  


Carrie (and Emily!)

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