I hope all of you had the wonderful opportunity to set some time aside this past week to spend time with each of your children. I am a parent of three children and I know time can be difficult to find throughout the day, but I also know it is vitally important. I have noticed the difference this time makes in how I view my children and how I deal with them in those moments when they are not at their best.
When I spend time on a regular basis using the four relationship building components: touch, playfulness, eye contact, and presence in my interactions with them, I have noticed that I enjoy them more. I end up laughing with them more. I end up seeing them as really great and wonderful kids a lot more. These sort of interactions are so vital to our parenting.
Without moments like these on a regular basis, it is all too easy to begin seeing children as too noisy, too inquisitive, too uncooperative, and a little annoying.
Personally, I notice how I begin to lose the wonderful joy that is a part of parenting. When these thoughts begin to dominate my thinking throughout the day, I like to take note of it and make an effort to change my perspective.
Summertime is kind of a strange time because it is really such a change to the daily schedule. On one hand, you get an opportunity to be around your children a lot more, which is great, but on the other hand you have to be around your children a lot more, which can be frustrating.
If you can relate at all to what I expressed in the previous paragraph, if you find it hard at times to soak up and enjoy your children, or if this summer you have caught yourself dreading the time you get to spend with them, then I would encourage you to take a moment, breathe, and begin to shift your mindset.
Decide to take it upon yourself to discover opportunities to enjoy your kids. They so want to enjoy their time with you and have you enjoy your time with them!
I have found, inevitably, that I get what I focus on. When I am looking for annoying stuff my kids are doing, when I expect them to be in the way and kind of obnoxious, I find that behavior.
However, when I intentionally look for those moments when my children are so wonderful, when I catch a glimpse of my daughter lovingly helping her little brother, I am reminded of how amazing my children are.
In all of this, I also find the more I take time to enjoy them, the more I find they enjoy me. And in some interesting way, I find myself a little more enjoyable and so does my wife.
That is an added bonus I didn’t expect. I will end this blog by urging you to really spend these next few weeks intentionally trying to focus on what you love about each of your children.
Do your best to incorporate touch, playfulness, eye contact, and presence. They are the building blocks of relationship and so important for them and you.
When your children go back to school, you want them to face their new teacher, their new friends, and new challenges with the confidence that they are enjoyable and have a lot to offer the school, the classroom, and their family.