I have less than 2 years left with my whole family living at home, just as it is. Levi graduates next year from high school and he has plans that may take him far from home. I love my family all together, cozy under one roof. I know where my kids are most of the time, even the three crazy teenagers.
So as I was reflecting on this future, I wanted my word this year to focus on my family and the love there. So my new word for 2018 is “connection.”
- Connection between my children and me
- Connection between siblings
- Connection between BJ and I
- Connection with friends
I believe it is the web of connection that gives our lives meaning, structure, and stability. It allows for exploration and adventure, with a safety net. It provides a sense of self as bonds are strengthened and sometimes tested.
Connection with Children
Years ago I was praying about how to help a child who was struggling. I wanted to make them behave, make them listen, make them “better.” As I was praying, God didn’t give me advice on how to change my child, but he did tell me how to change myself. God whispered to my heart that I needed to build a stronger connection with this child. He let me know I needed to express love and let go of frustration because they were damaging our relationship.
So I changed my behavior. I began to spend time with this child playing games. We took walks. I praised him instead of pointing out his mistakes. We connected.
My actions didn’t change his behavior immediately, but it did help me have more patience with him. And as our relationship strengthened, he was more willing to listen to me when I needed to correct him.
BJ wrote a great post about connection here.
Connection between Siblings
I have a wise friend who told me her vision of what childhood should be. She told me she remembered moments with her brothers as her strongest memories. She remembered the fun they had and she realized that her mom had created a supportive environment so they could have fun together.
Her goal as a mom is to create an environment that supports sibling connection. She wants them to remember the days in the pool swimming with brothers, the football games on the back lawn, and the wrestling matches on the living room floor. She wants these connections made strong in childhood so 1) they will have great memories and 2) they will remain connected as they grow and leave home.
Becky’s house is always fun. There are boys everywhere playing and laughing and connecting! As I work on connection this year, I want to focus on creating a space for sibling connection.
Connection with Spouse
BJ and I have a strong connection. But I feel like marriage is like a treadmill. If you stop working on it, you move backward. We plan on continuing date night, late night talks after the children go to bed and handholding and kissing in front of the kids. They hate that.
Connection with Friends
I love my friends, but I’m so busy with my family that sometimes I forget to reach out. I want to plan better this year and create experiences with my friends. I’m not sure how to do this one, so I would love advice. How do you connect with friends when family needs are so time-consuming?
We are still in the midst of our New Year’s Resolutions and Heather at Vintage Parenting has a great post today. Hop over and show her some love. She is my cousin and an amazing mom! Not that I’m biased.
And head over to Chris’s blog Quantum Bounce. She has a post on taking your families emotional temperature.