This is a contributor piece I wrote for Portland Moms Blog. Read the entire article HERE
It is 2:30 p.m. The door flings open as my three older children rush into the house in a frenzy. Backpacks, shoes, and socks fly off bodies at warp speed. They race into the kitchen devouring the first food they can find and collapse on the couch. It happens in a flurry. Sitting down on the couch next to them I lead with a question in hopes of making a connection. Some days I am met with warm affections, and other days not so much. I’ve found that establishing a plan of action to spend intentional time with each of my children is vital to keeping our relationships strong. As a parent of four children with different personalities, I’ve had to get creative. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. I’ve discovered four ways of intentionally connecting with my children that fosters depth in our relationships.
1. Scheduled Dates
Setting aside intentional time for a date with each one of our children has become routine practice in our home. This builds expectation and excitement for how we spend our time together. Conversations surrounding the details of our date include the places we will go, the types of food we will eat, and the things we will discuss. With multiple children in the family, we aim to get dates on the calendar for each child within the month. This builds trust and each child feels celebrated.
2. Impromptu Outings
Mothers knows that there are seasons when one child needs more TLC than the others. Intentional time with a parent is the salve applied to a flare up. And when situations like this arise in our family, we look for opportunities to provide that time of connection. We include that child into our everyday routine tasks. This may look like tagging along to the grocery store, getting the oil changed in the car, going on a walk/jog or returning books to the library. This intentional time together provides space to recalibrate and connect, reestablishing stability to the relationship......
Continue reading the rest of the article at Portland Moms Blog