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The Power Of 'Finishing Strong' With Your Kids At Night

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At the start of the pandemic, when my family was locked down in our 800-square-foot New York City apartment and reeling from the pivot to remote work and no school or day care, an Instagram post from Glennon Doyle saved my sanity.

Her post was primarily about how parents should embrace screen time as a survival tool. But she also offered a theory that sticks with me still, two years on: the idea that all parents really need to do is finish their days with their kids well. Doyle hatched her theory when she worked as a preschool teacher. She’d spend hours devising thoughtful activities and lesson plans to fill the kids’ hours, but ultimately what they remembered most was whatever came at the end of their days.

“This is my philosophy with all things children now. All you have to do is finish strong,” Doyle said in her video post.

I loved this advice then, and I love it still now because it feels like self-compassion. I remembered it last night when, after a day with my younger son that involved more tears and nagging than I’d like, we salvaged the day with a big bedtime hug and a chat about the relative merits of dump trucks versus forklifts. After a pretty blah parenting........

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