Isn’t very high really. There are so many things I can do:
- listen to him describe the next gadget he’s going to invent
- watch him leap off the ladder into the pool for the umpteenth time
- have a good stock of freezer pops at the ready
- wrestle him to the ground and give him a good tickling when the need arises
- give him a job to do and tell him how wonderful he did when it’s complete
- welcome his friends into my home
- tell him I love him
- follow through when I tell him I’ll get him some juice in a minute
- listen to him jabber on about whatever thought enters his head
- let him drink soda-pop at home every once in a while
- tell him he’s terrific
- tell stories about him that make me smile, especially when he can hear me
That’s just a partial list, of course. The point is that I only have to make small efforts to build my relationships with them. Sometimes I forget that and think I have to make grand efforts. Which overwhelms me. So then I do nothing at all.
One of my big goals this summer was to try and improve my relationship with the older boys. We’ve battled enough over school that I honestly wasn’t feeling real enthusiastic about them 6 weeks ago. Not much of what they did made me laugh.
Digging out old giggles about them has helped. The above list has helped too. The biggest thing has been just making the effort.
Sometimes it’s easier to think I’m too busy doing ‘important’ stuff.
When really I’m not.
Now that we’re on a better track, I hope we can stay here.
Earnest Parenting: tips to empower parents.