How do you enter into your kids’ worlds so you stay close during the topsy-turvy times of puberty?
Recently I was helping my son with homework, teaching him to make a list of what he had to do, then checking off each point. He nodded, smiled at me, then went to the bottom and penciled in “fun.”
“Mom, after all the work, we get to have fun, right?”
That moment struck a cord in me, as I watched his braces-filled smile and remembered these moments only come once. “You bet!” I replied.
So in the busy hum of every week, how can we build in intentional moments that bring lasting memories? I’ve discovered three keys to remaining closer to their perspective.
1. Stay Connected.
Find ways to build small memorable moments. I had scheduled dental work for the kids’ day off when my husband pointed out we could have a fun day instead. Soon we got ready for an unexpected turn to the week. It was one of those magical moments when we visited Disneyland. I noticed filming for the Christmas special and asked the boys if they wanted to watch a favorite country music star. They were good sports in the lines, and when we were called near the stage, there we suddenly were five people from the front, watching Tricia Yearwood and other stars sing and entertain us. The boys loved the television behind-the-scenes and my shorter son was picked up by a nice man so he could see over everyone’s shoulders. Magic. The show will air Christmas day, but I’ve already enjoyed watching my kids’ faces and excitement.
2. Be Captivated.
Sometimes the graphics and loud lyrics could give me a headache, but sharing a fanciful moment with my kids can open doors to discuss what happens to a character and point out a lesson without always pointing at them. Engage your kids about good and bad things from an age-appropriate film and let the shared experience draw you closer. Seeing it through your kids’ eyes might help you see what’s important to their heart and how they view struggles and choices. Who their hero is, real or not, still tells you a lot about the child and their life goals.
3. Always Cherish.
Cherish the moment. I was ready for bed, but the kids spotted more fun. We heard the fireworks, and were lucky to see them out the window. One son had light up Mickey ears, and his rainbow colors filled our dimly-lit room against the backdrop of the exploding fireworks. The other, my young chemist, kept talking about how strontium makes fireworks red. All I could think was, what a precious moment that probably won’t come again. It’s a real gift that no one can take away.
How do you capture the moment and use it to be close with your kids? I’d love to hear from you.