11 February 2014

Dating our kids

me and faith

This weekend, I had the opportunity to have a date with little Miss Faith. Every once in a while, I spend some time with one child while Morgan takes the other. The girls absolutely love it when we do this and they call it their “special time” with mom or dad.

Faith and I spent our time shopping at Target for Valentine’s Day gifts (she wanted to get something for her sister using her gift card from Christmas) as well as having lunch together.

Lunch was nothing special per se. A table for two at Subway. But this was the part of our time that I was most looking forward to the most. Recently, on Visionary Womanhood I had read some pointers on how to date your children to get to know them better. I was eager to dig in and bond with my daughter.

Now you might think, “Wait, aren’t you a homeschooling mama who spends 24/7 with her kids anyway?” Well, yes that’s true but if you have more than one child, I think it becomes a different dynamic when you spend time with them individually. This is especially true when it comes to twins!

Anyway, getting back to the dating part... There are 2 necessary things that must happen during the date.

First: We must ask lots of questions (and really listen to their answers).

Some examples:

  • What makes you feel happy these days?
  • Is there anything that scares you?
  • Who do you like to spend time with the most? Why?
  • What do you like best about your school work?
  • What do you like least?
  • Do you ever feel sad? Why?
  • Who is hard to play with? Why?
  • Is anything bothering you lately?
  • Do you feel loved?
  • When you think about your life, is there anything you wish could change? Why?
  • Is there anything that I have done in our relationship that bothers you or that you feel sad or angry about?

Second: Apologize and ask for forgiveness.

I think we’ve all experienced when a person refuses to acknowledge or accept responsibility for the ways in which we hurt one another. This can often build up walls instead of closeness. I’m usually pretty good about apologizing to my children when I’ve screwed up and they are absolutely WONDERFUL about forgiving me. However, I feel like this is something we can be mindful of constantly. I think it creates a deeper and more trusting bond between parent and child. It gives our children permission to be vulnerable with us.

After all, isn’t this how close relationships are supposed to work?

And that’s it. As you can see, there is no magic formula for dating our kids. And we certainly don’t have to wait until an official “date” is planned. It simply requires some intentionality. Our children are little souls that long to be heard, understood, and affirmed. Lord willing, these questions and this openness will give way to a lasting and more intimate bond throughout the years. We want our children to feel like they can talk to us about anything as they grow older so it’s important that we practice and lead by example now.

Faith: Mommy loved spending “special time” with you. You are so beautiful. And you are blossoming into such a vivacious and conscientious little lady. I couldn’t be more proud of you. I thank the Lord for your many gifts and talents, including your detailed and photographic memory… like where we parked our car. LOL!

I’d be so lost without you. :)

Xo, Mama

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