“Join them in their world when they’re little so you’ll be welcome in their world when they get big.” – L.R. Knost
I love this quote from the wonderful LR Knost and I can tell you that it is 100% true.
Every week in our Facebook group, we share our ‘wins.’ I try to share mine as well.
This was mine this week: “My middle son (17) FaceTimed me on New Year’s Eve from a party to wish me a ‘Happy New Year.’ My oldest son (20) regularly phones me to say “hello” ever since he moved out this fall.”
Both of those things make me so happy and also reassure me that kids growing up might not be so awful after all.
What does it look like to ‘join them in their world when they’re little’?
Do Special Time. If you can swing it, 15 minutes a day with each child– “I’m all yours for the next 15 minutes. What would you like to play?”
Play. If you can’t swing Special Time with each child, try to play with all your kids for 15 minutes a day. Get them laughing! Kids against you in a monster-chase game.
Be curious. Not into playing? I know it can be tough! Get curious and ask questions about what your child is playing and show as much interest as you can about them and what they’re into.
Be present. Try to have time every day when you aren’t distracted by your phone and your to-do list. If you have to attend to an email or similar, let them know. “I have to send a work email! I’ll be right back with you.”
Listen. It can be hard to pay attention to a rambling story from a 4 year old (or a 14 year old!) Try at least a few times a day to be an active listener to your child.
Share space. This was easy for us because, for my first 12 years as a parent, we lived in a 1.5 bedroom/ 680 square feet little house (with 3 kids, 2 cats and a dog!) Even if we weren’t doing anything together, we were in the same space. Put a little art table in your kitchen, catch up on work on your laptop while your kids play.
Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 14, 17, and 20). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com