Do your kids come to you first when they have a question? Do your kids come to you first when they have a problem? Do your kids come to you first when they struggle? This is a clear sign of trust. Our kids will be asking questions, looking for answers–and they will be asking someone! We want that “someone” to be us! Before that happens, we need to have that trust.
What if you don’t have that trust? If not, we need to get back to the basics in our relationship with our children. We need to connect with them on the basic level–basic conversations about things they want to talk about. It may mean you have to talk about Legos with our little boy. It may mean that we have to actually build Legos with him (been there, done that!). We may have to hang out and play video games (and learn them–been there, done that!). We may have to take them out to eat and sit through some awkward silent moments (guess what-been there, done that!). When you play, when you have those moments, just be there…don’t push…don’t press. Just enjoy time with your child. Show them you are willing to get down on their level and be with them.
When you start talking, how do you build that trust even more? Something that has worked for us–apologizing. We need to take responsibility for OUR part in the relationship, even if that part is small. We, as parents, need to recognize what we have done. “Hey son, I am sorry for being harsh. I am not perfect, but I really want to work on it–give me a shot if you can”. Also, be honest, be open, be vulnerable. Admit you’re struggling to keep it together. It’s OK. They need to learn how to be vulnerable too–this is a great way to lead. Simple statements like that bring those walls down. It tells them, “wow, my role model, is coming down to my level and apologizing to me”.
What next? Let them lead. Let them come to you. Offer to be there for them whenever they need. Check in and ask how they are doing. Keep playing Legos, Video Games and dolls. Keep taking them out and keep current with them with regards to “falling short”. Do those things, and your relationship will be transformed!
Father and daughter duo, Sam and Jasmine Doyle at www.backtothebasicsgeorgia.com
You can also listen to them on their podcast at: The Sam and Jasmine Show