Avenues To Connect With Your Children

Are you utilizing every opportunity to connect with your child?  There are many avenues we can communicate and connect with our family members.  Today I was pondering about the myriad of ways I can interact with my kids.

Photo taken by my Daughter

This morning I was listening to a radio show about preparing for college.  It’s been a rough week for our teenage daughter who is a Junior in High School.  Last year she worked diligently at maintaining an A average on her report card.  I guess I should share with you that as parents we offered her an incentive.  We promised her she could attend a week long youth conference held at the college she wants to attend {which is several states away} if she had straight A’s all year.  She did it and we are so proud of her.  However, this years classes have been very difficult.  Her classes are much more demanding.  She assured me throughout the semester that she was doing fine and would continue her tradition of making straight A’s.  A couple of weeks ago she announced she was accepted to be a member of the Honor Society. {SO EXCITING!}  Well, when she told me she received her report card I assumed what it would look like.  However, she did not offer for me to see it. {Should have been a red flag for me.}  A few days later, I realized I had never seen her report card and asked her to show it to me.  {Time for some dramatic music}  Lo and behold there were 3 B’s.  I need to make sure you understand that it is only because of her desire to attend this certain HIGHLY COMPETITIVE university that my heart sank a little at seeing her report card.  I have some concerns that she might not get in to that university now.  As a Mom I feel like I failed her to some extent.  I know that is completely silly because it is her responsibility to study and do well.  But maybe I was a little LAX in making sure she was studying and managing her time well.

Let me back up a little here.  You see, I was never a good student.  My husband was 6th in his class and received a full scholarship to college.  We are pretty opposite in many ways.  Hey, but at least my kids have a variety, huh?  My point is… since I was not an A student, it would be difficult for me to know how to teach my children to be one.  I didn’t want to go to college straight out of high school.  I didn’t prepare myself  as she has done.  As parents, I believe it is only natural that we want for our children to have things a little better than we did.  Don’t you think?  I don’t know, maybe I need to take that back after seeing an episode of Hoarders {it was on the TV at the protein shake place} yesterday.  Back to the subject at hand…

Photo taken by my Daughter

I obviously did not handle the situation very well.  My Daughter saw the look on my face and I began questioning her.  It wasn’t long before tears were flowing and I felt like a big fat loser of a Mom.  My job is to encourage her.  Instead, I told her my concerns and probably in not the most nice tone of voice.  She went to her room and would not come down for dinner.  My husband & I discussed everything while preparing dinner and he feels the same way as I do.  After dinner my husband did a wonderful thing.  He went to our daughter’s room and invited her to go for a drive and talk.  He is much better at being able to discuss things without letting his feelings dictate the volume of his voice.  Plus, I knew at this time how concerned he was.  He took her to get something to eat {since the rest of us had eaten all the dinner we made} and he listened to her.  When they returned home we took the opportunity to say a prayer with her, just the three of us.  It was a special time filled with The Spirit and tears.  I made sure my Daughter understood that we loved her no matter what.  We love her no matter if she is accepted into the University or not.  I would hate for her to think at any given time that we did not love her because she did not have all A’s.

Interestingly enough, I had no intentions of sharing this whole story with you.  However, not only was it therapeutic for me…it still shows ways of communicating {good & bad examples} with our children.  Hopefully my daughter will see the value of me sharing this story and not be too upset with me.  {However, everything I do seems to embarrass her at this stage of life.}

Ways I Connect with My Children

Back to the radio show about preparing for college.  As I was listening to it I thought to myself, “She and I need to listen to this together.”  So what did I do {so I don’t forget} ?  I clicked on the share tab and shared it with her on FacebookFacebook can be a great way to show your love to your children.  If you see something while you’re on the internet and it reminds you of your child…say it’s a music video you like and think they will like it as well, put the link on their Facebook.

In regards to my 16 year old, I also connect with her through the app Instagram.  We both love photography and it is amazing what information I find out about my Daughter through her photos.  I also enjoy when she says, “Mom look at this photo.”  She has taught me how to search for photos and we will laugh at some of the popular ones together.  I have learned she doesn’t necessarily like for me to comment on all her photos, so sometimes I just “like” them instead.

My two younger kids like to play Words With Friends {another app} with me.  If you aren’t familiar with this app, it’s basically like Scrabble.  This is a great way for my 8 year old to learn new words and help her with her spelling.  She loves it when she creates a word that has a higher point value than me.  She giggles and says, “I got more points than you!”  And of course my brain child of a Son beats the pants off me every time we play the game together.  But I enjoy interacting with him in this way.

Another technological way would be through the use of texting.  Sometimes I will text my kids and say, “I love you!”  In this day in age, we have to use every available avenue to stay connected with our family members.

A non-technological way is through the use of notes.  I have written many times on the value of love notes.  Lucky for you, I noticed that Once Upon A Family has their I Love You Pillow at 50% off {Only $10.}  We have used this in our family.  It’s a fun & easy way for everyone to show love.  Included with the pillow are 74 folded cards with options like ‘I Love You’, ‘Let’s Talk’, ‘I’m Sorry’ on the front and blank space inside for a note.  We have them in a jar where everyone can use them.  You slide the note into the pillow and in our family we place the little red I Love You Pillow on their bed pillow.  I enjoy leaving the surprise for my kids or hubby as much as receiving one.  I found a previous post from 2008 where I wrote about this product here.

In fact, many of Once Upon A Family‘s LOVE items are marked down now!  You can see all their specials by clicking on the link I will give you, then click on ‘Specials’ at the top left hand corner.  {Just in time for Valentines!}  Click HERE to go to Once Upon A Family’s website.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Disclaimer:  True story given above.  Once Upon A Family products help encourage family unity, which I adore. 😉  Therefore, I am honored to be affiliated with the company.  Compensation {portion of cost} by OUAF is only given if products are purchased.  Once Upon A Family did not pay me to write this post.

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  1. Shan,
    Thank you for sharing your heart. I am struggling with this very issue of connecting with my girls and this is an encouragement.

    Blessings to you and yours,

  2. Way to share yourself and be transparent! I know that communication is going to be even bigger as they head into the teenage years, thank you for the suggestions! Technology is definitely playing a bigger role now than when we were growing up!
    ange recently posted..Master Bedroom Update and other Thurdsay Randomness

  3. Shan thanks for sharing! I too sometimes struggle with finding the positive in my girls’ grades. They are great students by I find myself telling them they cameo better when I don’t really have room to talk when it comes to having great grades!!:) Like you, Greg and I are opposite. He was 4th in his class and well I think I was 80 something! I haven’t finished college and struggle with helping with homework, study habits, etc. I really needed this today!:)

  4. Thanks for the great suggestions! I try to remember to show interest in what my kids are doing often, but it’s so easy to get wrapped up in my own projects that I forget! Off to play a game…. 😉
    Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles recently posted..Decisions, Decisions {Help Me-Vote!}

  5. This is really just what I needed to read today! My daughter is 14 and my son 11. you hit home for me with this post. Thanks for sharing your story today!

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