by Lisa Fuller | Apr 14, 2014 | Connection & Love, Cooperation, Encouragement, General, Parenting
Yesterday morning I had a simple, accidental revelation with my dexterous 7-year old daughter. Short on time, she decided to have a piece of toast for breakfast. Knowing I’m the best toast-butterer in the world, S. said, “Mom I need butter on my toast – please butter it for me.”
My hands, immersed in sudsy, warm dishwater, scrubbing away at the long-neglected dishes, were not fit to butter toast. The wheels in my mind slowed, I sensed the opportunity at hand and replied empathetically, “Oh honey, my hands are all soapy, I don’t want to ruin your toast.”
Disappointed, S. tried again. “But mom…I’m not good at buttering toast and you’re really good at it!”
“Darn… sorry about that, Sweetie. Just look at these sudsy creatures!” I lifted my hands to show the yucky soapy mess that would envelop her toast.
Suddenly resolute, S. asked, “Okay Mom, where’s the butter?” A minute later with quiet pride she said, “Look Mom, I did it all by myself!”
Sometimes I have to be creative, play a bit silly, a bit incompetent or just plain unavailable, to get my kids to step up and take the initiative on a task well within their grasp or even one that seems a bit out of reach.
Have you had a similar experience? Share it or plan your “incompetence” ahead of time and let us know how you imagine it could encourage your child.
Your comments inform and empower other parents! Examples with kids of all ages encouraged!
by Lisa Fuller | Nov 26, 2013 | Connection & Love, General, Parenting
Over dinner recently, my dear friend Katie, a graduate of one of my very first parenting classes, shared her biggest take away from the series: THE MESSAGE OF LOVE. I asked “What effect does this concept have on your parenting today?” She answered,
“For me, the message of love means continually focusing on the big picture with my kids and letting them know that I love them. I apologize for my behavior when I lose it with them. They’re used to that. Even though I make plenty of mistakes and am not a perfect mother, I’m certain they know how much I love them. Every day I’m aware of the value of communicating that love, even in the smallest interactions.”
Today’s message is simple.
How do you show your love within and beyond the many daily acts of caring — the chauffeuring, cooking, laundering…?
Ironically, the hectic pace of Thanksgiving, with all of the preparations, attendant traveling, cooking, and socializing, can distract us from a grounded connection with our kids.
Remember for a moment, someone from your own childhood who you knew cared about you. How did you know? What did they do?
Maybe they spend time with you, listened to you, taught you a skill or game.
Below is a list of ideas, with concrete examples, for communicating the message of love. This list is a beginning. Please share your ideas in the comment section below!
• Play a game together (we’re into Sorry right now – especially the 14 year old!)
• Cook together (favorites: eggs, lemon squares, help with prepping anything)
• Learn to do something together (friendship bracelets)
• Work together on a project (put together an Ikea desk, replay chess champion game moves, garden)
• Wrestle and rough house
• Walk the dog or take a hike
• Deeply listen to your child – no devices, no interruptions.
• Use phrases that convey empathy, such as:
- You seem__________.
- You look___________.
- You sound__________.
- You are____________.
Body language/tone of voice/alignment of internal and external energy
Be aware of how loving you feel on the inside. Notice how this is reflected on the outside by your facial expressions and body language. When these match you’ll come across with
- Soft face & open heart
- Warm, relaxed tone of voice
- Sincerity and empathy
- With an older child closet listening is a great option.
Katie reminded me – THE MESSAGE OF LOVE is powerful!
Take the time to BE with your children and communicate the message of love in your own, imperfect way. (Maybe it’s about not sweating the small stuff).
Take a moment to share in the comment section below how the MESSAGE OF LOVE is communicated in your family!