Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kiddo Connection

There are a million things moms can debate about, and everyone's entitled to their own opinions.  But I think it's safe to say we can all agree on one thing... Parenting is a tough gig.  And if you're anything like me, and your kids are anything like mine, you may have found yourself staring at them and wondering where your sweet cherubs have gone.

I often find myself in that awkward space where I'm spending great quantities of time with my children, but the quality isn't there.  It's easy for me to make excuses like "I have mountains of laundry to fold," or "I just don't know how to relate to boys."  But the truth is that we're all longing to feel loved by one another, and when I let the busy-ness of life take precedence over being present with my children, our connection with each other suffers.
Live @ MomCon2013 
This week, the amaaaaaazing Kathi Lipp gave us (via video) some really great tips for connecting with our kids.  She encouraged us to pray for our kids and with them, and to pray for ourselves as we navigate through the daily grind.  (The latter is something I often forget to do!)  And ya know those times when life gets off-the-charts crazy?  Her biggest sanity-saving suggestion was to keep up with simple routines (bedtime rituals, etc.).  It restores a little normalcy and comfort for your kiddos during times when they may feel a little lost in the mix.

The biggest take-away for me was Kathi's challenge to reframe our own attitudes about our kids personalities.  "Bossy kids will grow into great leaders, and quiet kids will turn into thoughtful adults who really care about people," she explained.  We're with our children so often that we tend to gloss over many of their positive attributes because their more challenging personality traits need more attention.  But if we put forth the effort to really understand our kids' personalities and love languages, we'll be able to show our love more effectively, and better understand how they show their love for us.

The Five Love Languages of Children is a great resource, and so is the link Kathi provided to take a little personality quiz.  (Click HERE to take the quiz.)  I answered the questions with my oldest son in mind, and it was 100% spot-on (He is equal parts "expressive" and "driver" in case you were wondering) and it has awesome suggestions for how to support his particular tendencies.

Just going through the motions isn't good enough if I want to have a close, loving connection with my boys.  Kathi's message was a much-needed reminder for me that with a little observation, and a lot of prayer, I can be intentional in my parenting and our whole family will reap the benefits.

To learn more about Kathi Lipp, check out her website, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to sign up to receive her email newsletter!

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