Once I drove past my neighbour’s driveway as she was standing by her car in an evening dress, tying her six-year-old son’s tie. She was going on a date with her son, just the two of them. It was absolutely beautiful to see.
Have you ever been on a date with your son or daughter?
Working parenthood is a juggle. We need to acknowledge this and find a rhythm that helps us find a special moment with each of our children every day. “Go on a date with your firstborn child when your second arrives” is advice the headmistress of our son’s nursery school gives: “Your bringing that baby home is like your husband coming home one night saying, ‘Hi Honey! Look at my new wife! I’ve brought her home to join our family!’ expecting you to love her. If you can find the time to do special activities separately with each of your children this will smooth over most of the challenging situations life throws at you.”
It is also important to focus on behavior rather than on the child. Saying “yes” more often than “no” can turn a situation around. If you are consistently giving your children a negative response, saying “no” for each and every action they take, they will eventually stop responding. However, a positive take on a situation can redirect a child very effectively, with minimal stress on you and them. Try to praise them when they do things right and play down the things they get wrong. In general, children will tend to do whatever gets them attention – negative or positive.
What would she say to a new parent who is leaving through the Honeybee gate for work, his or her little one left in the nursery for the first time? Her tone, as expected, is kind but with a depth of wisdom only achievable through years of working with families: “I know this is hard. I know you are feeling guilty. But please, don’t. You are giving your kids a gift by bringing them to a wonderful school. Your children will learn and grow and thrive by being around other kids. Only, when you are with them, please make a point to try and take them on a date just you and them… and make it special.”
Now, we would love to hear from you… have you ever been on a date with your son or daughter? Do you have some awesome suggestions on what to do to connect better with your kids? The truth is that we’re all in this together and your comments could help thousands of mums around the world to discover new ways to connect with their kids and, more importantly, realize that they are not alone in the challenges they face…
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Article and image by Janice Windt: Blogger and founder of The Working Mothers Expo