I want to be one of those cool moms. You know, the ones that all the kids want to be with. I want my house full of kids coming in and out, feeling like they are safe, loved, and belong. I want my children's friends to know that they can count on me. But before I can become one of those moms with the neighbor kids, I have to be one of those moms with my kids. It's easy to be a "good" mom when they are little. They're all about hugs and kisses and entertaining them is relatively easy. I mean, a 3 or 4 year old is happy with an empty oatmeal container! Kids grow up and before you know it, they are 8 (or 13 or 21) and they aren't quite so lovable and easily entertained. Maybe you are at the beginning of this journey like I am, or maybe you are well experienced with the eye rolling and the "nothing I ever say or do is right". All I know is that if I want a good relationship with my daughter at 16, then I need to cultivate that relationship now at 8.
She's at the beginning age where others group her as a "tween" but I don't call her that. I don't like the term tween or teen. Instead, I view her as a young girl who will grow into a young lady. Regardless of what I call her, at 8 she can be difficult. It seems that she isn't content anymore, she gets bored easily, and sometimes her attitude is just a little too "tude-ish" for my liking. Correcting her and teaching her is becoming more challenging, but I refuse to give up! I know that if I continue to reach out to her, to love her, to teach her, she and I will have a good relationship when she's older.
How exactly am I doing this? I look for ways to connect with her- when she's not in a "mood". I wrote her a letter this afternoon and the look of delight on her face when I gave it to her was priceless. I shared with her a few of my best moments. I shared with her my story of how I became a child of the King. I shared with her a few honorable characteristics of her father. I shared with her how happy I was she was born. I praised her. I encouraged her. I shared with her key phrases that I want her to carry in her heart forever. I plan on continuing to share with her (and her siblings) the important things in life.
And most of all, I shared with her that I pray for her.
How do you cultivate your relationship with your child(ren)?