Over the past two years of blogging I have gotten a certain question over and over again. I think it’s time I address it!
Many moms have written asked me, “How can I get close to my kids? You and your kids are so close, and I want that in my life.”
Let me be honest. To know that there are moms all over the globe asking this question is really an encouragement to my heart. I am thrilled that moms are stepping back from the craziness of everyday life and reevaluating their relationships with their children. Dear mom, if you too are desiring to be close to your child, then you are already on the right track. You are already moving forward on your motherhood journey.
Let me start with saying that I do not believe that I am the best mom on the planet. Nor do I believe that I always make the right decisions for my kids every single time. However, I will admit that yes, my kids and I are close — like really close. My husband and I cherish our relationship with our kids and are very thankful for the close-knit relationship we are blessed to share.
How did my husband and I become close with our kids? Here is what I think the main secret of our close-knit relationships stems from. Over the past 13 years of parenting we have sought wisdom and guidance for our parenting journey, and it seems that above all else this one factor really contributes to a close parent/child relationship. And trust me moms, if you are growing closer to your kids on this motherhood journey, then you are accomplishing so much. A mom who cultivates a super-close relationship with her children is the best version of super-mom!
So what is this one secret? Well, it’s really just one word, but we are going to dissect that word today and see what it really means in day-to-day living. Ready for the secret of getting close to your kids? Drum roll, please!
The secret is: time.
Yep. That word seems to creep up on us when it comes to almost all of our relationships in life, doesn’t it? It’s no less important with your children. Why do I think that this is the main reason for my close relationship with my children? Simple. Because we spend so much time together. Really…hours on end! As I write this article, I have two of my kids in my room just hanging out with me.
How Do You Spend So Much Time with Your Kids
One reason we spend so much time with our kids is because we have chosen to home-school. I know home-schooling may not work for everyone, but I would encourage you to at least entertain the idea and look into the possibility of home-schooling. When a mom and dad choose to home-school their child, they are choosing to invest time, money and more time into their child’s education. You see, whether we want to or not, we have to spend many hours with our kids, several days a week, teaching and discussing education. When we do this, we lean, explore, create and grow together. Home-schooling is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work and requires dedication and time. It’s brought me to tears more than once, but after 9 years of home-schooling I can definitely see how it has brought our family closer together.
Our family also eats almost all of our meals together. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is here at our house on a daily basis and we all sit down and eat. There are times when my husband cannot eat with us, but the majority of our meals are eaten together. Meal time is the perfect time to relax and connect. I don’t allow games, toys, books or phones at the table so we can spend that time conversing and enjoying our time together. It only lasts for 30 minutes or so, but it’s a refreshing time for all of us. Our lunch today last well over an hour and my teen son was laughing so hard he spit out his drink — twice! We stopped the busyness of life to enjoy those precious moments with our kids.
My personal fave way our family spends time together is setting aside a special family night every single Friday night. We buy ice cream, make cookies, watch movies, play games and stay up late. It’s a little vacation we look forward to every single week, and it’s just one more way we spend extra time with our kids. It’s just one more way that we show them we truly care about them.
And you know what? We don’t just spend time together working, cleaning and learning. We also spend time having fun together. I don’t meet a lot of parents that can relate to their kids in the area of fun. When the parents watch a movie, the kids go watch a movie by themselves. Or, when the parents are playing a game, the kids are playing games in another room. Or, the parent chats with their friends, while the kids go off and text theirs. But, that’s not how our family works most of the time. In fact, we can joke or laugh about funny parts in a movie because we watch them together. We can laugh and reminisce about past games and memories — because we shared them together. My daughters and I can quote our favorite lines from the movie UP. My son and I can giggle over past memories of him embarrassing me in public. You see a common trend? We’re having fun — together.
Why is spending time with your kids so crucial?
Because everyone knows, even if we say it or not, what we truly care about and love is what we spend our time on or with. If we truly value our marriages, we will spend time with our spouses. If we truly value our kids, we will spend time with them. Work can wait, friends can wait and even church events can wait — but we need to spend lots of time with our kids. Don’t fall into the quality time over quantity time myth that pervades society. You know better and your kids know better. Put your phone down, turn off the TV, cut back on outside work, wash the dishes when the kids are asleep or do whatever you have to do to get more time in with your kids.
Psst! Do you want to know another secret? It’s true for teens too! Teens need you just as much as kids do. Don’t slack off on your time spent together. If you’re a parent to a teen, your teen is going through so many changes all at once. They still need you to be there to listen, care and connect with.
If you have more than three kids, it can be a struggle to get one-on-one time in with each child. If you’re lacking ideas in that area, here’s an article about how we started spending one-on-one time with each child. It’s simple and effective and any parent can work it into their schedule. But, trust me, if you want to have a close relationship with your children, the main secret is to spend loads or time with them. Whatever you have to cut back on to get that time in, do it. You only get to raise your kids once! There are no second chances!
What do you think the secret is to a close-knit, parent/child relationship? Share your thoughts with us on social media!