How to form lasting ties with your children
As many of you know, my husband went home to be with the Lord this past Resurrection Sunday. My children and I miss their father terribly of course and this new normal that we’re experiencing is going to take some getting used to. I feel very blessed to say however, that we are transitioning into this new phase of our lives with much grace toward each other and ourselves. My youngest is 11-years-old and this new relationship we’re forming warms my heart. And might I add that this quarantine has been a blessing! It is allowing us to get to know each other in a way we never could in the midst of our busyness. We now walk the dog together in the evenings and have the most amazing conversations while doing so. When I cook, he doesn’t hesitate to clean! He told me that he loves my cooking and if cleaning is the price he has to pay then he will gladly do that, as long as he can watch his favorite YouTube video after…notice I cook for him, yet he still has a negotiation along with his meal. Lol. Another common ground we’ve found is Lowes. Neither one of us likes to shop but we love Lowes! We’ve been having conversations about how we will fix up various rooms in our house.
I’m also carving out a new, beautiful normal with my older children who live on their own. My son lives in a different state, but we talk on the phone much more often. My daughter, who is in her 20s, and lives a little closer, has been coming over to the house frequently and it’s always a good time. We now have game nights and we’ve made a standing girls’ day once a month, where we will have vision board parties, cooking classes, and soon, refinishing furniture to go into various areas of our home. While the ties we’re forming are being done under less than desirable circumstances, you can create these life-long ties with your children just because. My husband and I did some, if not all of these things with our children and it’s because of this foundation we established that my children and I are able to move forward in such a loving way and continue to build a new, different normal for our family. Here are a few tips:
1. Show your gratitude – I’m quite sure you feel gratitude toward your children all day long but the reality is, they only know it if you verbalize it. Make sure you
verbally and physically express your gratitude to them.
2. Exemplify respect – A friend of mine told me that her mother used to say to her all the time, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say…” Well, we all know how our kids
definitely don’t live by that motto because kids absolutely act as mirrors for their parents. Therefore, if you want your children to respect you, respect them.
3. Love them unconditionally – They’re not always going to get things right, after all we know this. We were once little people. Keeping this in mind, make it clear to your children that you still love them even when you’re upset or disagree with their actions.
4. Make time for them – In addition to sharing meals together, take an interest in them and what they like to do!
5. Encourage them – Kids and teens face an entirely different set of challenges than adults. Again, we know this because we’ve been there and this makes it easy for
us to shrug off what seems like big problems to them. Try encouraging them instead. It can empower them greatly if you let them know how much you believe in them.
6. Help build confidence and independence – Fill your kids in on the power of a positive mindset and how having one enables them to do anything. Encourage
independence in them so that they can be confident when you’re not around.
7. Listen – Listen to your kids. Yes, we may know more than them due to age and experience; however, they too, know many things because of their age and
experience. Technology is a great example of that. They know more about technology than most of us ever could. One way to do number 6 and build that
confidence in them is to show you’re always listening.
8. Make dinner together – Of course, my favorite! No explanation necessary.
9. Schedule family time – Another one that I just mentioned above that my daughter and I are doing. Be creative and schedule something fun! You can
schedule a game night, movie night, and once we’re able to roam about the outdoors freely, you can schedule picnics, bike rides, something enjoyable!
By implementing some of these tips, you can create memories and moments that last a lifetime with your children.