My eldest daughter, Jia, is almost 9 years old. My youngest daughter, Iana, is turning 3yo. In terms of interests and play, their stages are vastly different. Jia’s interests are centered on tween stuff – – books, music (she’s a fan of Ed Sheeran), her writing, tinkering in the kitchen, Heelys. Plus she has a tendency to be absorbed with whatever she is doing and when that happens, she will just forget about other things. But because she loves Iana so much, she makes it a point to build a relationship with her. And because she knows from our Positive Discipline chats that to build a relationship, you have to spend time, she makes it a point to spend time with her (and Joya, too). In fact, she included daily dates with her siblings in her everyday routine.
The other day, I was beyond proud when I saw this reminder on her shelf.
It was so heartwarming to me that she makes an effort to be close to her sister and to build a relationship with her.
Because parents have busy, busy schedules, we sometimes forget to build relationships with our kids. We are so busy providing for them and managing them and bringing them from one summer class to another, we forget that of utmost importance is the relationship we form with them. We forget that having a great relationship with our kids saves us from having to send them to therapy later on. Haha!
The importance of time
So how do we do this? How do we form a relationship with our kids? Well, we spend time with them. It was the inspiring Zig Ziglar who said that to a child, love is spelled T-I-M-E. And this is not being beside our child while we’re on our phones… this is honest-to-goodness playing, talking, learning what interests him, getting to know him as a person, knowing his opinions about things that matter to him (even if the things that matter to him gross us out. LOL!). It does not matter if their interests are not interesting to us. We should make an effort. Spend time.
When I think about it, it makes so much sense. I spent so much time with J when we were first going out to really get to know him. I invest time on friendships I want to nurture. I practice and practice and practice skills I want to master. Basically, I spend time on things I deem important.
Connecting with kids shouldn’t be any different. We have to consciously spend time with them. (And no, time nagging them on things does not count.) It does not have to be hours (with work and all other stuff, who has hours?). Just spend ten minutes a day with your kids and watch them bloom!
With my super busy schedule (running a household, breastfeeding, homeschooling, being a wife, holding workshops), maybe I will do what Jia’s doing… I will post reminders on my shelf so I will not forget to play with my kids. After all, I had them to be with them and be with them I will.