(Inside: Do we take advantage of the moments life gives us to get to know our children?)
Clean socks dwindled, food became scarce, and the house turned into a wretched state – there was so much to accomplish. But I had a blessed day at home to catch up and plow through my to-do list with tornado force.
Then my quiet son, who holds his feelings close, interrupted me. He plopped down on the counter stool and poured out his thoughts.
“Mom, I’ve been wondering about…”
(Why now? Why wonder about this now? I have a list. I’ve got momentum going…)
“And mom, I’ve been thinking about if…“
(But my list… Momentum… I’ll go crazy if I don’t get this done…)
“And mom, I don’t know how to open my locker… I’ve been thinking we need to work on that…”
(Oh yeah, middle school is in a few days…)
“Mom, I also wanted to tell you about…”
(He has six summers left in our home.)
So, I set down my to-do list. Then grabbed a cup of coffee, settled next to him and rested my full attention on his words.
Moms, life is happening right now. These years with kids in our homes are sacred and fleeting. Even though our kids choose to unload their thoughts at the most inconvenient times, we gotta roll with it. Because the easiest way to get to know our kids is to listen when they talk. Six summers left for my oldest. He’ll be gone in a heartbeat.
So, when they decide they want to chat – especially if they’re naturally reserved – seize the moment. We’ll never regret getting to know our kids when they were at home.
And really what’s the big deal if we don’t have clean socks? That’s what flip-flops are for.
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Two More Ideas To Promote Conversation and Connection
1. Do your kids most often answer “fine” when you ask how their day was at school? Need a better selection of questions to ask? I came up with 30 questions to encourage conversation. It’s yours for free here.
2. We also sometimes read To My Sons by Bear Grylls around the dinner table. Each page has a simple idea or quote that prompts table talk.(And sometimes we chew our food silently with glazed-over looks. We can’t nail family connection all the time.)
How do you and your children connect? Share your thoughts in the comments or email them to me.
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.