Let’s face it, we have to work hard (and use some creativity) to maintain strong relationships with our children. Especially as they grow older. What was “cool” last year might not maintain their interests this year.
And here’s our greatest challenge. Time. If you’re like me, you have plenty of ideas, but you’re weak on execution. You have plenty of distractions. Plenty of excuses. Many of these excuses are even legitimate (like your day job!).
One answer to this dilemma? Books.
Nick (my 10-year-old son) and I both love to read. So I told him to pick out some books for me this summer. His choice.
Now, before you give me the “I don’t have time” lecture, please save it. You have time to read. Really. You can read when your kids are sleeping, when you can’t sleep, when the rest of your family is zoned out in front of the TV, or even in the bathroom. Been there. Done that. It’s doable.
This summer, I started with Gregor the Overlander (one of Nick’s favorites) and was quite taken with Suzanne Collins so I wanted to see what The Hunger Games was all about. (I loved it, by the way, but decided Nick can wait to read it until he’s a bit older.)
Then, following Nick’s lead, I read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Little did I know, I would become a J.R.R. Tolkien groupie (I’m waiting to read The Two Towers as soon as Nick finishes).
The good news? Nick and I have uniquely bonded. (So what if the rest of the family thinks we’re crazy when we talk about magic rings, hobbits, elves, and journeys to Mordor.)
It’s about establishing a new connection. Getting in their world. Starting a dialogue.
How do you nurture that connection with your growing children while a million other things are competing for your time and energy?
Have you tried reading lately?