Nov 17

Top Ten Ways to Connect With Your Children

Top Ten Ways to Connect With Your Children

By Melissa Taylor

It ranks among one of my top priorities in life. I know my time with them is borrowed. My own mother told me to make the most of the time I have with my children, because it will be gone before I know it. Wow, isn’t that the truth?  But what exactly does it mean “to make the most of the time” we have with our kids?  I think a lot of it has to do with the ways we choose to connect with them.  There are many ways we can find to bond with our children. Here are my Top Ten.

10.  Ignore your cell phone when you are with them. Let it ring and let the caller leave a message!  Send the message to your child that they are #1 and way more important than anyone who may be calling you.

9.  Show up. Be there for their special days, no matter how little or big the event or the child is.

8.  Game Time. Playing games is a great way to just hang out, be competitive, insert values when they don’t realize it, and just have fun! There are so many fun family games. Just last night, I observed my 9 year old daughter playing “Go Fish” with my husband. It was the tiniest deck of cards you ever did see, but they were laughing and having the best time.

7.  One on one time. Be intentional on having some time just for you and one of your children. For me, this is tough sometimes. I have to make this happen. For example, my daughter and I have a lot of time alone and we do a regular Mommy~Daughter date night, but my sons and I don’t.  (We used to, but since they have gotten older, not so much.) I have to create that time so I try to select an activity that will intrigue them…like going to Starbucks, to a sports store just to look around, to a movie then ice cream, or sitting in the garage to listen to the drums.  The activity isn’t so important as the time is.

6.  Family Devotions. Priceless. If you can get your whole family together for some Family Time Devotions and discussion, do it!!!!  It’s a great time to have the opportunity to bring God’s Word to life and learn to apply to real life. My kids learned how to look up Bible verses because of family devotions.

5.  Car Time/Bedtime. You have a captive audience in the car, don’t let that time slip by.  Talk to them. Pay attention to what they want to listen to on the radio and let them listen to it.  Ask them about their day. And at bedtime, tuck them in.  Again, you have a captive audience. Sometimes this is when your kids will just unload. For some reason mine seem to let their guards down at bedtime. Pray for them and let them hear you.

4.  Family Meals. Whether you are a single mom or the mom of six, try to make time for a meal together. Not only does it encourage conversation, but also table manners.  We used to all have breakfast together. Something we like to incorporate into our Dinner time is reporting the  High-Lows:  Each person reveals their high of the day and their low of the day. Quite telling.

3.  Get interested in what they love even if it’s not what you love. Find out the best way for THEM to communicate. This may not be your #1 way. Follow them on Facebook.  Look at their iTunes music files. Play their video games. Get to know their friends and love them. Text them.

2.  Talk to them about anything! And listen too! From early on, let them know that they can ask anything, talk to you about anything, or approach you with any subject.  NOTHING is off limits. Oh I have stories on this one!

1. Be available. Show your children that they matter by being available to them.

And finally, one I can’t leave off.

*Pray for them. Pray a specific verse for them. Let them know you are doing this. It may be a life verse you have claimed for them or just a prayer you have on your heart that day. This is a way you can connect with them EVEN IF THEY DON’T RESPOND TO THE OTHER 10 SUGGESTIONS.

Thank you to my Facebook and Twitter friends, P31 gals, Fab 5,  and also to my own kids and husband for their ideas in helping create this list. I love you and would not want to do life without you! xoxoxoxo

Melissa

Comments

  1. Janet Serukenya says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I am so encouraged by all the messages and heartfelt sharing of experiences that I find on Proverbs 31 but especially stuff to do with motherhood and being a full woman. I work for a bank and I am so busy most of the time. I have to work so hard to get time with my family and often feel like I am not doing things right. I also have no life outside of my family and my work. With P31, I feel like I am at least getting fellowship with other women.
    Thank you for sharing about how to connect with my kids. I have a girl aged eight and two boys aged six and two and another girl due in three days time. I am sure you know how it always feels like you are trying to catch up with the kids. The stuff they know now, I knew when I was twice their age and so its hard to handle.
    God bless you
    Janet

  2. Melissa, Thanks for the great ideas! My daughters are in middle school and it seems the older they get the busier we are. My husband and I do several things on this list but I defiintely love the idea of texting them Bible verses or some kind of encouraging message during the day.

  3. Thank melisa
    This is so encouraging just to know how can you connect with my kids .- have 8 yrs boy who so interest in the bible whenever you reading you bible he is thhere with his bible sometimes ask you so much question where I don’t have answer .then melisa I will always check you webside on how can I raise kids and be able to attend them and value them as important

  4. Thank you for your encouragement and ideas. I have done some of the things mentioned as my 2 boys grew up, and still pray for them. They are now in their 20s. One at home has turned away from Christ, the other one is thriving.
    Our son at home often uses my car. He sometimes rides with me to work, then takes the car for the day. I keep the radio on a Christian radio station. He may change it right away when he takes the car, but he has the influence for 15 to 20 minutes. He sometimes surprises me . . . when there is a Bible quiz on the radio, he sometimes knows the answer. This gives me some hope, though I know knowledge is not enough. I like your idea of texting a Bible verse. I am considering it.

  5. Thank you for sharing! I have two wonderful daughters. One is 9 and the older 17 and most of the time, I feel disconnected when it comes to my relationships with them. I do try and I continue to pray for them both. The younger is more receptive. I am looking forward to trying the top 10 list!! I truly believe that if we as parents don’t bond with our children, they will seek to bond with others in unhealthy relationships. I will begin today by texting my older daughter a verse.

  6. cool ideas! will try them out!

  7. Melissa
    What a great top 10 list. It is so important to talk with and connect with our children in today’s world. The evil one is out lurking and waiting to gobble up and toss our children around, one of the ways he does this is to tell us mom’s and dad’s that we can’t connect. But we can and WE HAVE TOO. Many Blessings to you
    Jamie

  8. Great post Melissa…good things to remember and more importantly put into practice! One thing my kids (still on the young side – from 7 to 1) love to do is spend time in the kitchen – we already have many memories made and there have been great conversations as well! Enjoy the day, Jill

  9. Dear Melissa,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas for communicating with your kids. My children are adults now (mid twenties) and althought I do not have a cell phone for texting, I do try to pass on a special devotional thought that has blessed my heart. I fingure that if I do this it will help them get to know their mother in a different way . As adults they are adjusting to new roles and responsibilities, so if I can live my life transparently concerning the things that matter to me most, it will knit us closer. I really enjoy the Pr 31 ministries and often forward the thoughts to my daughter in the UK .

    Thanks again,

    Marilyn

  10. Thank you for sharing your ideas they are so good. When we are all together we start with challenging one another by quoting bible scripture in alphabetical order.Taking turns one will say one with an a the next with a b and so forth. Its fun,you will be surprised how far you can go. Blessings!

  11. Mel~ you are one of the most attentive, caring, intentional parents I know! From fun at the pool to skate night to movie time and slumber parties to just being there…your kids know how much you love them and that is priceless. Thank you for sharing the treasure that you are as a mom! I love you! Sambo

  12. Peter Mugagga says:

    Hello Melissa,
    I find the Ten ways applicable to all, even men! I have a 9 year old daughter, a son who is 6 and another son 1 year old. For the daughter, she has been a dad’s girl and has been very open with me, while the 6 year old son is an introvert, prefers to talk through the sister. I have arranged to have a drive to the countryside with the whole family over christmas holiday and perhaps we will have a chance to put into practice the 10 ways…

    Men should be encouraged to your blog

    Peter

  13. Hi Melissa,

    I am a mom of 4 children ranging in age from 6-16. I make it a point to do at least one thing each day, one on one with each of my kids. My two youngest are girls ages 6 & 8, and our 1-on1 time can be anything from just cuddling up to read a book or watch a show to doing our nails. My 12 year old son and I spend a half hour together each night after the girls go to bed; we will do a devotion, watch one of his favorite shows together, or just talk. My 16 year old son is the challenge because he is so busy with school, volunteering at our local Playhouse, building sets for the school plays, etc. Some days our 1-on-1 time is just sitting in the van with him listening about his day when I bring him dinner to school on nights when he’s there til 930pm, sometimes we go to plays together, other days all we get in is a few minutes talk time when I’m taking him from one activity to another. My weekly shopping trips, I alternate the kids so they each get a turn to go with me once a month and have me for a couple hours all to theirselves.
    As a family we always have our ‘fancy’ meal for the week together on Sundays. Most of the week we have a rushed, simple dinner but on Sundays we make a really nice meal and sit down together as a family to eat.

    With 4 kids of my own, plus working 14 hour days as an inhome daycare provider, it’s hard to find the time to spend some ‘alone’ time with each child, but it’s important for me, and important *to* them that they each get that special attention. I loved the list you shared with us, and will be implementing a few of those as well, including the daily bible verse via text for my 2 oldest kids. What a cool way to connect them with the word of Christ!
    Blessings, Melissia

  14. I loved the idea of texting Bible verses to your kids. I have four kids ages 16, 11, 10 & 5. Only the oldest has a phone, but I think this may work for us! Thanks for the great idea!

  15. Thanks Melissa for the great ideas. I really liked the texting Bible verses to your kids idea and will give it a try. It is a way to let them know you want God’s best for them.

  16. Just came across this and I love it. Feeling really disconnected from the girls at times…since starting school. Need to think more quality time for now!

    Oldest is struggling in school and mean kids. I feel lost about what to do! I’ll start with a prayer and Starbucks date. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mary

  17. Betty Reynolds says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I have always felt inadiquate when trying to communicate with my children. Sometimes I don’t know what to say, how to start a conversation with them( especially my 19 year old son). But when actually giving it all some thought, I feel inadiquate when trying to talk to any children older than 6. The only thing I can come up with is that I feel insecure with myself, my knowledge of things and feel they are judging me. Kids can sometimes be cruel, yet very honest in their comments. I think that scares me and instead just don’t try in fear of being hurt. I know that sounds silly, I sound like a child myself, but it is how I feel. I am sure it is hidden feelings from when I was a child, guess I never have really dealt with that or forgave and let go. Any advise on how to become a better communicator. Your words of advise above are very helpful and I will try putting them to use. Sometimes I feel like its too late… since my kids are 11 and 19, mainly because I get shut down by them. They have unfortunately taken on some of my characteristics. How can I reopen those lines between us? I also have lots of nieces and nephews that I would love to communicate better with. Any advise will be helpful! Thanks, Betty, Newport,NC