(The importance of keeping communication with your kids)
By Jenny Jiménez on October 15, 2018
Good Morning! I don’t know about you but these weekends seem to go by quicker and quicker as we near the end of daylight savings time. My already jam packed days feel even shorter 😦 .
I wanted to take some time to talk about communication. Seems like a foreign word now a days with all this technology but it is still super important. I consider my relationship with my children to be a good one. We’ve always spent a lot of time together and enjoyed doing different things and each other’s company. This is because we have good communication, a skill that seems to be lost in our youth lately.
It should be every parent’s priority to maintain open lines of communication with their kids. Remember, if you’re not teaching them someone else is. Your kids won’t just open up to you. They need to feel safe and secure, which is a direct consequence (outcome) of spending “quality” time with them.
I’ll take a moment to breakdown what good quality time means. Quality time is spending time with your children without distractions. Where neither parent nor child is on their phones, computers or any electronic device or multi-tasking and are 100% focused on their kids.
Parents and people often mistakenly think that quality time means it has to be long. On the contrary, it can be short BUT it should be meaningful. I work a full-time job outside of the home so for many years, especially when my children were little, this meant that the only time we had to really catch up was during dinner. I will say that it was very helpful (and actually still is) that I plan ahead and have weeknight meals that are quick to prepare. It rarely takes me over 30 minutes to make dinner during the week. I set it up so that I use a lot of shortcuts and save the more time consuming, homemade meals for weekends, preferably Sunday. I can always do a future post on quick weekday dinners.
I love dinner with my kids. They are both so funny and we always have a great time. They open up and have such great personalities. There are days that they can go on and on and on. This is our excuse for dessert at every meal… gotta keep that conversation going (hey don’t judge 😉 ) I don’t know what I’m going to do when they go to college. It’s going to be so quiet around here, too quiet perhaps.
Anyway, focus Jenny… so back to communication, I try not to direct the conversation unless no one wants to speak (which is rare in this house) or just to get things going. I usually let them take over and tell me about their day. If you’ve ever sat down with a child that’s in school and really get them going, they can go forever. It’s amazing how much happens during the course of the day that you overlook unless to stop to really think about it. We talk about anything and everything from their day, classwork, homework, any projects they are working on to current events and everyday things going on at home, like chores and housework or upcoming projects.
Really the idea is that you want your kids to know that you are there for them and that although you may have had a crazy day at work and your eye is still twitching from stress, that you still care what’s going on in their lives. Besides they’ll just think you’re winking at them throughout dinner 😉 .
You’ll see that over time they’ll initiate talks with you. Spending time together regularly, even as teens, will be the norm. At least in my home it is. Since they were very little we hop on my bed with snacks, yes snacks and watch a movie. It’s generally something without crumbs that is in a bowl for easy cleanup. Hey you have kids so do NOT expect your home to be perfect. It may be a while before Home and Garden is knocking down any doors. Besides, family comes first in my book, ALWAYS! My son is so tall now, 5′ 10″ I think since last I measured, that we were feeling a bit crammed during our bedtime movie nights. My daughter and I would stay at the top of the bed while he’s spread out across the bottom of the bed. He got sick of being our footstool that I used it as an excuse to bump up to a king bed (okay so I have a Napolean complex thing going on). Now we all fit. I usually stay in the middle to prevent these two crazies from going at it playfully while I’m trying to watch a movie.
Usually my daughter falls asleep while my son and I stay up and watch the movie. We wake her up afterward to get the heck out of my room, ha! We don’t always watch movies in my room. We watch in the living room a lot also and sometimes one of the kids want to “host” me in their room… so cute. Anyways, you get the gist. The point is to use any and every opportunity to spend that precious time with your kids. It doesn’t always have to cost money. Whether it’s during dinner or yard work or even a ride to school, make the most of every second, besides most often the best times are the FREE ones!
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Now get talkin’!
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