By Denny Hagel
Do you ever feel like the days and weeks go by and you haven't really connected with your children? Some of you might not even remember the last time you laughed with your children...
Let's face it, with the pressure of work schedules and commitments and the children's school and social activities, it's a wonder that at the end of the week we even know our own names! Sometimes it seems like the divide between us grows wider and wider as time goes by, yet we know we are spending every waking moment "doing" all we know to do for them. Life goes on and the days blend into weeks and weeks into months...going through the motions of "life". Many will become anxious about the type of relationship that exists with their children.
If this sounds like life in your family, it is time to surprise your children and shake things up a bit!
Serve them dessert for dinner! Now, this may not seem like a big deal at face value, but the impact of even such a small gesture will send a message to your children that YOU are capable of FUN! And we all know what children are drawn to and want 24/7...FUN!
We have done this in our family since our children were in kindergarten (about 8 yrs ago). One day on the way home from school, I asked them what they wanted for dinner. My granddaughter, Kaitlyn, (age 5 at the time) said, "Ice Cream!"...and of course I said, 'Well that would be silly, what would we have for dessert?" My grandson, Zach, (age 4 at the time) replied in his sweet little giggling voice, "Hamburgers!" We all laughed, shared the idea with their Papa, and then agreed that from that day forward Fridays would be known as "Silly Day" at our house. And so it is even as we speak, 8 years later.
It helped them see us in a different light...we became flexible in their eyes. Because of this small change in our weekly routine our entire family gained something to look forward to sharing. Over the years, we have added a few fun aspects to "Silly Day". We take turns deciding what dessert and dinner will be and we are relaxed about what time we eat...Sometimes we have "dinner" mid afternoon and "dessert" later in the evening. It has become something that keeps us connected in a fun way.
Creating a "Silly Day" in your home is just one example of how parents can step into their children's world and re-connect with them on their level. I am sure many of you will have other just as effective ways. The point is not what you do; the point is to do something to lessen the divide...something that puts you on the same page as your children in their eyes.
All parents want to enjoy a connected relationship with their children. After all, for most of us parents, their happiness and well-being is our primary focus. The truth is what children want most is the same thing... to feel connected to us.
Creating a connected relationship through something as minor as "Silly Day" is none the less a connection. And it will serve as a foundation to build an even stronger bond and relationship that will one day get you both through the bumps in the road. Get creative, use your imagination and find a way to laugh, play, or just be silly with your children...even if it is just for one meal a week!
Denny Hagel is the founder of Innovative Parenting LLC, a company dedicated to providing parents with the tools and skills to raise their children the way Nature intended it to be. She is the author of Mini-Me Syndrome and a contributor to Infinite Field Magazine. She is a Children's Advocate and Parenting Coach. In addition Denny is raising and home schooling her two grandchildren. FREE e-Book "Becoming an Awakened Parent" > http://www.MissingSecretToParenting.com
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