I’ve been feeling disconnected a bit from my kids lately.
This week, I was sitting at our kitchen counter working on an email, and my 8 year old daughter was trying to tell me something she thought was really funny 😊 I sat there, looking up just a couple times, continuing to type while she was relaying her story, and adding a few “uh-huh. . .oh really? . . . yeah . . . ”comments when it felt necessary.
Next thing I knew, I look up and she’s walking away.
Lately, I find myself doing that WAY too often. Making my kids feel like they’re distracting me, rather than being the focus of my attention. Even for just 5 minutes. To tell me a funny story.
Let’s try again. Whether it’s immediately, today, or tomorrow, I need remember;
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23
I often need remind myself that God offers us grace, each morning His mercies are new. That’s why I have this big, giant, hard-to-miss picture centered on our living room mantle. Put the verses you need to meditate on the most where you can see them the easiest 😉
It’s not too late to start working towards quality time. To be intentional about growing in our relationship with the sweetest gift God has given us as parents…our kids.
And I know…with 1 or 4 kids, it’s just hard! It can be difficult to find ways to make time to connect and grow and bond with them. We need to be intentional.
So, I wanted to share 4 Strategies we have incorporated into our family routine as of recent! Yes, that’s right, into what we’re ALREADY doing during our day, to make our routines more meaningful and joyful by squeezing in ways to do something with and for our kids. These are simply our experiences and the results we found from them. I hope it will bless you too 😊
Share a Journal.
This fun little project works in passing. I have 2 journals, one for each of my oldest kids, who are 10 and 8 years old. One boy and one girl. And we keep it limited to our rooms, so they don’t get lost. I will write them an entry, usually with a question, a joke, something awesome they did, where I want to travel with them, ect…and I leave it on their bed. Then they respond, and add something similar, and leave it on my pillow or at my desk in our room. You may be surprised by what you read 😊and how connected you can be with your kids when you give them the freedom to write out what’s on their mind.
Let them help you.
I’m kinda a control freak. When I start a project, I like it done a certain way. For example, I like our laundry folded AND piled a certain way. (Disclaimer – I have taught the kids my folding style, and started letting them do laundry, hallelujah 😊) So I’ve learned, when they ask to help…take a deep breath, and let them.
For example. my 3-year-old ALWAYS wants to crack eggs for me when I’m cooking with them. It drives me bananas, because I know there will be bits of shell in the mix, or egg all over the counter and her clothes…but the big, giant smile on her face and joyful laughter, it’s memories that make an impact! You may find yourself enjoying it more than you think too! Which in turn, has certainly strengthened bonds in our house. So, if you can, let them help.
Do what they want to do.
Legos, dolls, painting, crafts, hot wheels, play kitchen, dress up, video game, board game, swing outside, jump in the trampoline, bake cupcakes, shoot hoops, throw the ball around, go for a walk, karaoke…the options are endless. Just do something they want to do! Even when they don’t ask 😊
I sneaked in on my sons when they were playing Legos the other day, plopped down on the floor and asked if I could play with them. Their reaction of excitement was so joyful (and actually surprised!), and it was a moment when you realize just how much it means to them.
Love your spouse.
It all begins with Mom and Dad. And I completely understand there are many homes that have a single parent, or a grandparent, or foster parent. And this is not intended to downplay the importance of any care giver. It’s to speak more to the homes that do have both parents present, and to place emphasis on the importance of showing love and care to each other in front of your children. Simple things like holding hands while you walk, a warm greeting when you get home from work, saying thank you to each other, doing something helpful for one another. Our kids see it, and I believe they will remember it because when my husband and I pour into one another, it produces more love that we can pour into our kids.
So, I pray that each person who reads through our family’s strategies will be blessed by an idea they want to try too!
And I know there’s LOTS more ideas out there! What are some ideas you use to strengthen family bonds? If you have a great way to connect with your kids, please share with us in the comments!
Thanks for visiting, friends!
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