April 27, 2010

{5 Dos & Donts to Reconnect with your Kids: DONT #1}

#1: DON’T Multitask
We parents get irritated when we talk to our children and they look at us blankly while earphones blast music into their ears, but guess who they learned it from? 

How do you think they became experts at this?   

Isn’t this the same thing we do when our child comes to talk to us and we look at our smart phone and nod our head as we listen? 

April 20, 2010

{5 Dos & Donts to Reconnect with your Kids: DO #5}

#5: Say “I love you” and Hug Often
We all love our children, so why not let it show? 
Saying I love you and hugging my daughter every chance I get allows me not to regret a single missed opportunity. 

There are times now when she comes to me and asks, “Can I get a hug, Dad?”  If at times she does not respond to my hugs, seeing a teenager embarrassed by my show of affection is a cherished memory too.

April 13, 2010

{5 Dos & Donts to Reconnect with your Kids: DO #4}

Do #4: Listen to Unreasonable Requests
Children, like parents, have problems and challenges in their lives which seem like huge obstacles to them. From time to time, they may confront you with what initially seems to be an unreasonable request. Before you shut a child down with an “absolutely not!” try to view the request from their perspective. Children have many constraints -- they cannot go anywhere without you or buy anything without you -- and you will stay more connected to your child by empathizing and by listening to their concerns. This is your opportunity to be a super-hero in your child’s eyes.

When my daughter told me that she and her three friends needed a ride to Boulder (42 miles each way) at 7:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and that I would need to wait there for three to seven hours to give them a ride home, I considered this an unreasonable request.  But, I allowed her to talk and when she explained to me that the school had stopped providing bus support to Model UN meets due to recent budget cuts, I reconsidered. My daughter and her friends had worked hard to attend this event. I then was honored that I was the parent selected for the job.  Of course, it was a long day, but when my daughter gave me a big hug as she retired to bed that night, it made it feel like the best day of my life.

April 6, 2010

{5 Dos & Donts to Reconnect with your Kids: DO #3}

Do #3: Put Your Child’s Events on Your Calendar
This is a simple way of staying connected to the activities and events of importance to your child and that make up his/her life.

By putting all of Raka’s events on my corporate calendar, I am able to stay connected to my daughter’s life. If there is an event occurring that is open to parents, such as a track meet or similar event, I can try to coordinate my schedule to be there. If that’s not possible, at the very least I can make certain it’s the first thing I ask her about at home that evening. I even include Raka’s important test and project due dates on my calendar so that I am available to discuss and/or to assist her in studying.