I have been thinking a lot about this lately in regards to my children. Strong relationships are built on our ability to connect with another person, and how I crave strong relationships with my children.
Connecting with our babies seems so easy and effortless, and the manual is pretty black and white. Feed the baby every 2-3 hours, change the poopy diaper, and shower him with love and affection. Even as a toddler “no” is obvious. “Don’t put that marble up your nose, wash your hands after you potty, no you can’t eat candy for dinner,” but as these munchkins grow I find myself wanting more and more to hop inside their little brains to find out what really makes them tick, and how I can best connect with that individual child.
Of course I am not in the murky waters of teenage angst yet, but my girls are not toddlers anymore, they are growing up, TOO FAST, and the manual is not always black and white.
If you know anything about the author Gary Chapman’s, The 5 Love Languages book, you know they don’t just apply to a husband and wife relationship. For me discovering my child’s love language is critical to really connect with them.
We have all seen the teenage mother/daughter relationship gone wrong. The sassy, disrespectful wild child who can’t even stand to share the same space with her mother. Then there are those beautiful teenage mother/daughter relationships that seem to glide through the teenage years with ease, and connection, and love. Either way, I think the foundation for the relationship I have with my daughters and son starts now. The bond, the connection, the relationship good or bad, takes shape so early. AHHHH! Scary thought! And I don’t want to mess it up!
At the end of the day all the parenting books boil down to one thing, LOVE. Sacrificial love for your child. It is easy to say, but sometimes another bear to practice. I pray every day for that kind of love to flow from me to my children. LOVE LOVE LOVE builds the best connection and strongest relationship of all.