I’ve been reading Dr. James Dobson’s “Bringing Up Girls,” and it’s been quite enlightening. I think it’s a great book for moms of boys, too! In it, Dobson discusses the importance of parents knowing what their girls (and boys) are thinking and staying connected with them emotionally. He says, “Your children’s successes or failures in many of life’s endeavors will depend on the quality of the relationships you share during their childhood years” (p.60). The best way to build that bond of security and love is by spending time together.
This is not a new idea for me, but even as a home school mom, I have to be intentional about spending time with each of my three children individually. Everything we do is together, and that is not a bad thing! However, I believe I must have that quality one-on-one time with each child. With a constant flow of laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, paying bills, cleaning, errands, church commitments, and play dates and other activities, that one-on-one time won’t just happen. I must plan it!
So today, I began something with my children we have named Workshop. After school work was finished for the day, I took each child for some individual time on an activity of his/her choice. Luke was first, and he and I made homemade play dough and cut out shapes, cookies, spaghetti, and even filled a few tooth cavities! It was fun, and we both enjoyed our time together.
Then Lindsay and I made Turkish Delight, a candy first made in Turkey about 500 years ago. It was an activity included in our home school lessons several weeks ago that we’ve not had time to do. One of the ingredients was lemon rind, so I was able to show Lindsay how to get the rind from a fresh lemon. She was disappointed that our candy has to set in the refrigerator overnight before we roll it in powdered sugar. I think she was looking forward to a treat right away!
Logan wanted me to teach him how to play a song on the piano (about one of only three I know!), so I sat down with him and showed him the first part of the song. He enjoyed that uninterrupted time, and the smile on his face was worth it all!
With all three, I spent about an hour and 15 minutes. Time well spent, I would say! I’d like to do this at least twice a week with them, but it does depend on the week. Some ideas we’ve come up with to do together are: take a walk, read books, play a game, talk, color, make a craft, style hair, do our nails, research a topic of interest, etc.
I really want my children to know that they can come and talk to their dad and me about anything because we have spent time building a relationship of trust and respect. When I think about it, that’s how God feels about us as His children, too!