Tips for Reconnecting with your Children
With all the craziness going on, we often tend to focus on just getting things done and getting by. There are so many things to juggle, that it can become overwhelming. It is in those times, however, that I find it’s important to pause and reflect. Usually when I’m busy juggling too many things, there are things that get put on the dreaded ‘back burner’. All too often, unfortunately, what that means is that we can put things aside that really should be our focus, such as our children, our spouse, or our families in general. As we deal with Covid-19 restrictions, vaccinations, violence on Capitol Hill, and a host of other issues, both personal and societal, we can often bury our heads in the sand as a way to avoid dealing with the more pressing issues at home. That can lead to our becoming disconnected with our loved ones, and make strengthening our most important relationships difficult. You might think it’s too hard, or maybe even impossible, but there are ways to reconnect, ways to strengthen our relationships, and ways to help keep us grounded. In today’s blog, we wanted to focus on some ways you can go about reconnecting with your children and form stronger family bonds.
It’s important to note that reconnecting with our loved ones and strengthening our relationships with our children can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Just by taking some time out of your day to talk with your children, you can change your outlook about everything. That’s why our first tip is as simple as taking 15 minutes to sit down each evening with your kids and ask them how their day went. Be sure that when you ask, you actively engage in listening and connecting with them. Simply asking while you check emails on your phone isn’t the answer. Rather, think about how school might be going for them, especially given that many are still home doing Zoom or Google Classroom. Imagine how difficult it would have been for us to learn when we were their age if something like this had happened. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can come to understand and connect with your children or teens more effectively.
We discussed this briefly in a past blog about Christmas, but oftentimes we can forget about our own childhoods and experiences from our past that we cherish. Even if we don’t, it’s easy to forget to share those moments with our kids. This is especially true nowadays with all the technology and media that is constantly bombarding all of us. It’s also easy to think that shows or films you liked won’t be relatable to your kids. While this might be true, that doesn’t mean your kids don’t want to know what you were like when you were their age. Try asking them why they like a given film or Youtube personality. See if you can’t connect it to what you liked when you were that age. Just by making those connections and asking about their interests, relationships can be strengthened and new bonds can be formed. Tell them stories about when you were in middle school; ask them about what types of things they’re learning about, and share your experiences when you were that age; engage with them genuinely, and you might be surprised at how they open up.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who was trying to think of something fun they could do with their father for a birthday present. “He likes experiences,” they said. There are a number of fun things you can do that don’t break the bank, but the main point is that you do something. Maybe that means going to a men’s conference with your son or going out to the movies and dinner with your daughter; it might mean signing up for self-defense classes or learning karate together; it could even be something extravagant like going for a hot-air balloon ride. Whatever it is, from simply going paddle boarding at the beach or having a picnic to the more complicated and involved activities such as weekly dance lessons, you can connect with your children, no matter their age, just by engaging in regular activities with them and having fun together. Often, these types of activities are the kernel of lifelong memories. Activities do require more of your time, but as we said above, the payoff is immeasurable.
These ideas are just some among many that can help you in reconnecting with your family. Whether by actively listening, sharing stories, or making new memories, you might just find there are new ways to reconnect with your youths. We at Cornerstone certainly know and understand how difficult it can be to reconnect, especially when exacerbated by a pandemic that seemingly won’t go away. We want you to know that you’re not alone. If you’re struggling and need help repairing relationships with your children, teens, or young adults, our trained staff is available to help. It isn’t always easy to make those connections, and often relationships can be so frayed that they feel insurmountable. We’re here to help! We offer telehealth appointments as well, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed by Covid, rest assured that we can see you no matter where you are in the state of Florida. Our licensed clinicians are here for you.