5 Things to Never Stop Doing with your Kids (even when they're grown)
Kids grow up fast!
We all know the saying, and we as parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and more live it every day - we see the children in our lives grow up all too quickly.
My son will be turning 13 this year - a teenager! - when did THAT happen?!
But as our children grow, it's important to keep our relationships growing along with them. From toddler tantrums to the doldrums of adolescence, our job certainly doesn't get easier, but it does get less involved. We don't need to watch them every minute, and they don't our hands to hold them up on walks anymore (sniff sniff!)
So how do we keep nurturing that all-important relationship? Even as both we and our children change over the years, there are always ways to keep the proverbial door open. If you want to develop lifelong relationships with your children, it takes work just like any other relationship - but it is well worth it in the end when you are gifted with grandchildren, a legacy and knowing that you brought some really awesome people into the world.
And so, here are 5 things you should never stop doing with your kids (even when they're grown!) to keep that connection alive.
Saying 'I Love You"
Yes it seems like a given, but as kids get older it often gets said less and less. But just like it's important to remember to feed your kids nourishment (food) for their bodies to grow, it's important for them to be fed emotionally too. Saying those three little words, even when they're met with eye rolls, will all add up like coins in a bank. After all the dramatic years, you get to cash them in with great returns!
Trying New Things
It's fun to show your little baby the world and help them experience all new things, like a first snowfall or discovering the joy of gliding own a slide. But as they get older they will inevitably want to make new discoveries with their friends - great restaurants, movies, music. But it is still possible to share fun experiences with them, and make great memories.
I love it when my parents or my in-laws include us in great experiences. Next time you go somewhere fun, why not make another trip and invite your (adult) kids? It's a great chance to catch up and be together in a different environment, and keep the fun part of your relationships alive.
If there is one great thing about social media, it's the ability to share everything - and I must confess that I am totally guilty of (over)sharing funny posts or videos I find on my Facebook feed everyday. I often find things that I think my family would find funny and share it - and I love it when they do the same! This is not only a fun way to relax for a few minutes, but could be a great opportunity to connect with your teen. Share a funny post there, a funny childhood story in person, or play a silly board game that makes you all laugh.
Sharing the Things you Love
When our children are little it's fun to let them in on the things we love to do. Afternoons spent doing crafts, reading on the couch or digging around the garden are all fun to teach and enjoy together. But that doesn't have to stop once they get older! Activities change of course - I don't think there's many adults who still want their Mom to read them a bedtime story ;) - but teaching your kids favorite recipes, handy skills like woodworking or needlecraft, and even just general how-to-run-a-household lessons you've learned over the years, can all be wonderful ways to share with your older child. You'll be making great memories and passing on a legacy of love, openness and patience to future family members!
Just Saying Hi!
Calling someone even just a decade ago was the way most people chose to communicate. Today with so much technology lying around that allows us to communicate through texts, e-mails and instant messages, we tend to forget how nice it can be just to hear a loved ones voice!
As your children get older and start living their own lives, they will lean less and less on you for advice and insight. Instead they will more often turn to their friends or spouse. And while this is a natural and happy progression, sometimes it's a comfort to hear Mom or dad's familiar voice.
Maybe they're going through a tough time and are just too tired or stressed to call you themselves, or they don't feel like they should bother you with their seemingly small problems. But taking that ten minutes to make that little call (or Skype!) could make all the difference in their day, week, year or even life!