Got substance...with your child?

Additional Reading

How would your child answer the question, “Who knows you better -- us or your friends?"

We hope our children answer us, but would they?

What about those deep conversations with your son or daughter that truly allow you into their world? Do you know the last time they cried or why they cried? Do they come to you with celebrations or things they are excited about? Or do they go to their friends? Where would they go in a crisis? Do they consider you a safe place to come if they needed help or guidance in their life? What about just to share a unique joy or something fun that happened during their day? Who would be the first person they would tell?

If your kids would not come to you, perhaps now is the time to make that an appealing and natural option for them. What are some ways you can enter into your child's life and really become part of their world?

Here are a few suggestions. The idea is to spend time with our children strengthening our relationship and opening the lines of communication with them.

• Parent / Child Date Night - This could be dinner out or simply asking your child what he or she would most want to do with you on your special night out. If possible, treat each child to his or her own date night with mom or dad.
• Boy’s / Girl’s Weekend Away – This could be an inexpensive camping trip or a hotel getaway for just the boys or just the girls.
• Family Game Night – A great way to get the family laughing and having fun. Interacting as a family strengthens your bond and opens the lines of communication.
• Dinner Time – Make it a point to eat dinner together every night if possible. Start a tradition of discussing the best thing that happened that day or what you are most thankful for that day – anything to get a positive conversation going with your family.
• Ice Cream Fun – Make your own or go out for ice cream and enjoy discussing events and people in your kid’s lives. Ask about their day. What was fun or what was hard about their day.
• Girl’s Manicure or Pedicure Fun – Most girls enjoy pampering so mom and daughters get out some nail polish and have some fun or head to a salon and get pampered.
• Boys and Balls. Get out the football, baseball or basketball and use this time to engage your son and enter into his world through the love of sports (or whatever hobby he or she may have).
• Mission Trips – My 10-year-old daughter and I participated in a mission trip to Mexico this year. It was a great bonding experience and a great way to more fully appreciate the many blessings in our lives. (You can learn about available mission trips by searching the Internet.)
• Family Camp – Probably the most powerful bonding experience I have had with my kids is family camp. This is our fourth year to go to family camp and it is the most anticipated and enjoyed event of the year for my kids. The camp we go to well balanced with focused time with God and Bible lessons, family time, couple or individual time and group fellowship time. There is no shortage of fun, adventure and relaxation. I can think of no better experience for families than to spend a week growing spiritually and bonding as a family.

About the Author

Lesley Spencer is founder and president of the HBWM.com Inc. Network which includes: http://www.HomeBasedWorkingMoms.com, http://www.WorkAtHomeKit.com, http://www.edirectoryofhomebasedcareers.com, http://www.momsworkathomesite.com, http://www.HBWMconferences.com, http://www.HBWMcanada.com and http://www.HireMyMom.com (coming soon).

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