Each Monday, we’ve been building a bridge, past the screaming culture and straight into our child’s heart by being intentional moms.
Our last building brick is by being available.
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” I Thessalonians 4:11&12 (NIV)
With texting and Twitter, it has never been easier for our kids to reach us, but never been harder to get our attention.
This weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at the Hearts at Home conferences. At the National conference in February, I met Dr. Kathy Koch who conducts workshops for parents regarding technology. Over dinner one evening, Dr. Koch shared a story of a family who attended her workshop at her home church. She had challenged the community to choose one night each week to be “technology free”. One father chose to ask his son which night he would like to choose. Trying to pick the night that would effect him the least, the boy chose Wednesday night – the evening his family went to church.
The next week, Dr. Koch saw a boy running at her full steam. She just knew he was going to yell at her for this “stupid” suggestion she had made. Instead, he hugged her, “Thank you for giving my daddy back. He puts down his phone now and pays attention to me!”
I think a technology free evening is a terrific idea, but if that would receive too much push back from your family, try technology free hours. No technology during dinner or after a certain time of the day. If we will put down our phones and get our kids to put down their’s, we might just open up and talk (especially since teens usually wind up when the sun goes down!)
This is a real problem for me. You see I have a disclaimer in my life that I cannot be held responsible for anything I say, hear or do after 9:00 p.m. I just am not coherent! Because of this problem, I try to make myself available to my daughter when she gets home from school. I have a snack ready and we chat for a few minutes before she dives into her home work.
I also like to make plans with just one child so we are one on one. Make we’ll go out for a snack or a walk. I like to take one child with me when I travel to speak and we carve out some “fun” time after my work is done.
Think over your life and your schedule.
How can you arrange things so that you can be available to your child to hear about their world, their heart and the things they are going through in their minds? Do you have a way you make yourself available to your kids that you could share with us?
If you have missed prior Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart posts, you can find them here:
* Be Aware