One of the beautiful things about PA Academy of the Arts has always been our sense of family and community that envelops the education we provide students. In my 23 years of teaching, I have seen family after family struggle to maintain a connection with their teenagers as they get older. I watch grandparents raise their grandchildren or stepmoms try to connect with their new elementary-age daughters. In my humble opinion, there is always opportunity to grow.
As a mother of two little boys and the owner of a home-based business, I am acutely aware of the importance of carving out time to spend with my sons… to shape them and impress upon them how much of a priority they are to me and Chuck. Finding that tricky balance between work and family is always a hot topic among my “mom friends”.
I am really thankful for (and not surprised at the timing of) a blog entry that fell across my path this week. I try to regularly follow the blog “Hands-Free Mama” and, at her prompting, have given up as much mobile and technology distraction as possible in exchange for some amazing memory building moments with my kids. Yesterday, she posted a great entry called “Reaching Your Child In a World of Distraction” and then encouraged everyone to check out HER inspiration – the Living Joyfully blog. As I clicked “Building Strong Relationships with Your Kids“, I had no idea that this little discovery would be so helpful. Here are a few key points the Living Joyfully author makes, though I encourage you to read the entire article:
1. Relationships are supposed to flow both ways. Saying “no” to your child out of convenience is a cop out. Do they say “no” to you when you ask for something? It might be a sign that something isn’t balanced here.
2. Parents spend too much time trying to pull their children toward them instead of going TO them. Do what they want to do, not what you want to do. Obviously there is a time and place for certain day-to-day responsibilities you have, but if you’re trying to build a relationship with your child and make it stronger, this is key.
3. Connect with your child as he truly is. Build trust. Show him you want a deeper, more authentic relationship.
And there’s more! Check out the entire article here.
I hope these articles are as encouraging to you as they were to me. I came away from reading them with concrete ideas about connecting with my little guys. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!