When practiced deliberately, meaningful exchanges can be a part of our everyday lives. As we rush through the grocery store, dry cleaners, department stores and even our work place hardly making eye contact with those we interact with, meaningful exchanges can get lost in the shuffle. A meaningful exchange is an experience that doesn’t require extra time, only your presence of mind. It is an ideal, which can be a part of your family life.
A family’s life is generally a busy life. You may have a home where one or both parents work, and your kids have their activities, friends and personal interests. Not to mention all the tasks required in running a balanced household. And being in the same house as your kids doesn’t necessarily mean you interact with them in a meaningful way. Having quality moments with your kids in this day and age can mean being a creative genius.
Creating meaningful exchanges with your kids doesn’t mean you need to wait to take a vacation, go on an outing, or even leave the house. They can be created at home. However, they can only be experienced when you deliberately set aside “work mode” and intend to create them. They are magic in their simplicity.
~ Resisting the temptation to give instruction and just observe. Allowing your child to do a task their way and complementing them on it.
~ Sharing a smile and eye contact with your child when they walk into a room.
~ Agreeing with your child on a subject that has meaning for them.
~ Giving your child the opportunity to voice their opinion and create a conversation.
~Asking permission to be with them in their “space” (bedroom) and giving them your full attention.
~Inquiring about their friends and showing genuine interest.
~ Silently being in the same room as your child having the intent to feel a togetherness.
~ Fostering an environment where your child feels comfortable asking questions of you because you ask questions of them.
~ Taking a deep breath instead of being reactive to your child. Allowing moments of stress to pass right through you, and continuing the exchange with them.
~Be present and consciously appreciate the simple moments such as walking into the kitchen and seeing your child sitting there, or walking into the family room as they are watching TV.
The time you have with your children still living at home is fleeting and moves very quickly. The weeks suddenly have turned into years. This is the training time for your relationship. Each meaningful exchange you share with your child becomes a part of your future together, a baseline for future interactions.
Whether you begin these meaningful exchanges when they are 4 or 14, it is never too late or early to create or deepen the relationship with your children. It all starts with intent for what kind of relationship you want to have with them and the ease in which you allow situations to flow.
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© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.