Being a parent in today’s world is not for the faint of heart. It certainly brings all kinds of differing challenges. I’ve often said that being a parent is the absolute BEST JOB IN THE WHOLE WORLD while simultaneously being THE toughest job in the world. It is a roller coaster ride with all kinds of ups, downs and all arounds. We go from having their little hand in ours and never wanting to leave our side, the “look at me mommy” and “play catch with me daddy” moments, to the “why do I have to come out of my room” and “do I have to go with you”. Ugh, talk about a heartbreak! I know, I know, this is not always the case in every home… but we’ve all experienced it at some point, to some degree.
There is definitely a natural progression of our children growing into their own independence, after all that is the ultimate goal for each of them. However, we all have to grow through that phase and get through it together. During this growth process WE as parents do have a massive platform in their life. ***Even when we are thought of as “clueless, lame or soooo stupid!!!” The connection to our kids AND our relationship with them is absolutely vital.
So what can we do to reach our kids on a deeper level?
Sure, there are several avenues to take and all kinds of resources, youtube videos and books that you can read… but the most important thing is to do something. Start somewhere. Make the effort and don’t give up!
One of the best things we have ever done in our household was discover what each other’s love language is. This is a great place to begin and can bevery insightful. It is a wonderful tool that can guide you in a direction to create the best connection for your kids specific personality. (OH!!! and as a bonus, they also have a version for couples, singles, young children & even teenagers!)
Here is the link to take the quiz:
So, every journey begins with one step and here are a couple ideas to do that can help you take the first step to intentionally engage in conversation around the dinner table (yes, have dinner together as a family) even if it’s on the sofa hanging out together, just make it happen.
1) Have a circle compliment.
– What is that you ask… like, are we going to have to start singing KumByYa & holding hands around a campfire?!?!? Not so much, just hear me out here… Go around and have everyone give a compliment about each person in the FAM. It’s a great way to speak a positive word into one other and get everyone talking about some of the things that you appreciate about each other. Who wouldn’t love to hear something good coming from the people you love most, right?
2) Tell one thing that you are working on and encourage everyone else to do the same.
– Take the time to be specific and explain what AND why you are working on this particular thing. This can be a great temperature reading on how each person is doing in your FAM. It will also help you to learn what may be important to them and even engage in further conversation. It may even allow for some empathy and understanding. (Which we could all use a little more of)
And one last idea to put out there…
3) Share one thing you are grateful for with each other.
– What is 1 big thing you’re thankful for, don’t be afraid to get a little vulnerable here, I’m not talking about “I’m grateful for my FAM” yes, we should hopefully be, but let’s dig a bit deeper. Try to be authentic and be specific about something that really means a lot to you.
Look, we’re all in this together, these are just some things that we’ve found work and we wanted to share them with you. Our hope is that something will resonate with you and your situation… and if it does, try it out. You can also check out our most recent conversation with Brock Bevell where he speaks on how parents are our children’s first line of defense. He covers some topics such as detecting early signs of addiction in the home and what we can do to stay connected with our kids. Be sure to check it out!
Feel free to share with us some things you have discovered that build connection in your own FAM. Let’s grow a community, bring some awareness, share with each other, and heal some hearts and homes!!