This post has been weighing heavily on my mind. I have been meaning to write on this topic for months, and for months I’ve been distracted. I am the distracted parent.
I am guilty. I am guilty of ignoring my children at times. This doesn’t make me a bad parent. I have reasons for being distracted that actually aid in my ability to give my kids a better childhood. I’m not a bad mom for being distracted. I just know that I need to do better and that my kids need me, just as much as I need to provide for them. Are you with me so far?
We all have a million things on our to-do lists. We all suffer from cellphone-itis. That's a real thing, because I say so, and it is very much an addiction. Can we ever recover? Where to begin?
Well, I’ve made myself a list of things that I want to start doing now that the Summer is coming to a close and I will be sending my eldest off to Kindergarten. Time with him will be shortened. Each year the time that I will have with him alone is growing shorter. I do not want to waste that time. I want to seize the remaining engaged moments I have with my son. Let’s face it, one day he won’t want anything to do with me, his father, and likely his little sister. For now, I can still command his attention, for the most part.
Starting small, with a simple, bullet point list, makes things more manageable. It's easy to get caught up in the overwhelming big picture and say things like, "from this moment on I am not going to touch my phone." That just is not a reality. I would be lying if I thought I could adhere to that general plan for even 5 minutes (sad, I know, but I do run a blog and a business).
BUT, if I make a small list of activities, goals, check-ins that I want to accomplish on a daily basis, I know that I can adhere to it. An action plan with baby steps is absolutely necessary. I am starting with just 2 goals every day. It's time that we start connecting, or re-connecting, with our kids.
I genuinely want to know more about my son, as he develops into the person he is destined to become. I want to take the time to really hear him. I don’t know about you, but my children sure have taught me a lot about the world and myself. I love hearing their perspectives on just about every topic.
So, as school begins this Fall, I want to remind myself, and in turn, all of you, to make the effort to listen to your child(ren). Sit with them. Talk to them. Communicate with them. Let them tell you about their school/life experience. Make this one of your daily goals.
It is imperative to me that although my child will be out of my care for the majority of the day at school now, that I don’t lose touch with him. Which brings me to my final point.
Hug your children. Tell your children that you love them. You may think that you communicate your love for them often, but, I’m willing to bet that they need to hear and feel it more.
I’ve designed a special printable that can be used for any child beginning at around Age 3 - all the way up to Middle School aged kids and beyond, if they’ll participate. It’s an exercise in bonding. Do it for your kids AND for yourself. Best to try and live without regrets, no? And there are absolutely no rules to this printable. Just use it as a tool to let the conversation flow and, hopefully, to aid in your daily communication goals.
I hope that you find that this document keeps you connected with your child. Maybe it will answer some of your burning questions like, "How was your Day?" or "What did you do in School today?" in a more kid friendly way. And remember, if all else fails, a hug and a simple "I love you" can go a long way.
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