Intentionally Connecting with Your Child
September is a whirlwind of activities. From filling out a plethora of forms for each child, to making sure you have groceries to pack those school lunches and even just getting into the car on time for activities…without forgetting a child. It can be overwhelming! Calendars once again become filled with who has to be where with what and at what time. In my opinion, one can never have enough coffee for the first few weeks of September!
Last Monday I was feeling quite proud of myself for getting my daughter to tennis, packing a supper for her to eat in the car after the lesson and then picking up her friends and taking them all to their first time at youth group. We drive up to the event and I said, “Wow, we are the first to arrive!” Again, feeling proud of my organization and time management. Waiting for awhile, we realize something is “off” as there are still no others showing up. I get a sinking feeling that maybe I missed something. Sure enough, a quick look on my phone and I realize yes, I am early….by exactly one week. Youth was NEXT Monday. Here I had three girls waiting, excited to attend youth group for the first time. So plans changed. We loaded into my car and went for gelato! The girls spent the next 90 minutes giggling and connecting.
Connecting….sometimes the best connecting is spontaneous. But having intentional connecting is also important. Making time, face to face time takes planning, especially at such busy moments in the year. With school starting up and new routines, it opens up chances for stress and anxiety to creep into our lives. If we feel the pressure at these times, I can guarantee our children also feel the stress and those anxious thoughts of new classes, making friends, tackling homework and getting into a routine.
Slowing down to connect with our children is important. It helps for them to see we are on their team. We see them. Often asking, “How was your day?” or “What did you do at school?” are questions that get limited responses, “Fine.” “Good.” “Nothing.”
Make connecting meaningful. Share with them your experiences in school. Things you enjoyed, what you maybe found difficult or funny anecdotes from your school years.
I have attached a printable PDF Talk to Me-Making Connections that can guide you in sharing about your school experiences. Simply print it out, cut the questions apart and put into a jar. Each night at supper or bedtime, pick a question out of the jar and answer it. Your children will enjoy listening to your school experiences and it will draw them into discussing their experiences. They will feel connected with you. This opens the door to further discussions throughout the year when different situations or emotions occur.
Let me know in the comments below how you and your children enjoyed these questions. Did you come up with other questions that you can share with us?