These last few weeks I've been able to spend more one-on-one time with my youngest son. With none of the rest of the family around, we spend the time doing whatever we want to do - so far, it's been trips to the library and long walks geocaching (oops, this week he played his favorite game on the computer without brothers helping and I finally tried the creme brulee recipe I'd been meaning to attempt - while checking in with him periodically), but I'm sure it will expand to other activities as time goes on. It is fun to have him alone and listen to him talk. And talk. And talk.
Reminded me of a terrific book called "Playful Parenting," by Lawrence Cohen. I read it a few years ago, while more of my kids were little, and a lot he said made great sense. I wish I had heard his ideas years before...
From the book:
Tuning in does not mean questioning our children about every little detail of their lives. Instead, tell an interesting story from your day; they might respond with one of their own. Another mistake we make is cutting them off when they are talking about "unimportant" things, or when they are chattering away about nothing, or when they are repeating themselves. Then, later, we expect them to tell us what we want to hear. That's not fair. We have to listen patiently to their way of telling things, even when it is excruciatingly dull to us, if we want them to get around to telling us the good stuff. Understandably, they want to know that we are really listening and aren't going to interrupt them or scold them, before they are going to share anything important with us.
Now that I'm listening more...yes, he's sharing more.
Stay tuned these next few posts for more from this terrific book. Your kids and grandkids will benefit. (If you don't have kids now, file this info away for when you do...please.)