Relating to Your Kids
Well, I’ve hit another one of those lulls where I don’t blog much lately. It’s insane how much my blogging or lack of it is controlled by inspiration to write.
This last Sunday morning we were hanging out with our friends, Mike and Brenda Zook, and we had a really good conversation about how to develop an open relationship with your kids. Theirs are older than ours, so they’re further into it. Having a relationship with my kids where they trust me enough to tell me anything is very near the top of my list in things I hope for in life. I don’t pretend to think they will always tell me everything, but I want to come to close to that as possible.
One of the biggest difficulties in doing this seems to be disciplining when necessary while not stifling their willingness to share. For instance, I was talking to one mom this week and she relayed a story about an interaction she had with her 14-year-old son the night before. She went up to his room and he was listening to “a song he shouldn’t have been listening to.” I asked her what the song was and she told me it was “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
While I’m sure there’s a chance (actually an excellent chance with a 14-year-old boy) that this song could make his mind wander to places his mom doesn’t want it to go, I couldn’t help thinking about all the music I know that’s out there now (let alone tv and movies) that are so much worse. Just because there’s something worse doesn’t make it okay…the point is I think cracking down on your kids for everything you wish they didn’t do is going to lead to them hiding as much as possible, not somewhere I want to end up.
I don’t really have answers here, I think it will be interesting as our kids grow. All I know is I hope Isaiah and Ayla will always know that they can talk to me about anything they do or don’t do, struggle with, whatever, and my first response will always be to engage them, not to punish them.