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Take time together

October 26, 2011

A Great Idea …

“One of the reasons it’s important to spend time with your child is that you never know when he is going to open up and tell you what’s going on in his life.” (Laurence Steinberg, in his book, The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting, p. 48)

In Other Words …

We often pepper our children with questions: “What did you do in school today?” or “How are your friends?” or “How did you do on your test?” We hope to connect with our children, but we want to do it quickly.  However, there is no way to compress relationship conversation into fly-by encounters. If we want to know what’s happening in our children’s lives, we need to have relaxed time together—whether playing, working on a project, or going shopping. When our children have unhurried and enjoyable time with us they are more likely to let us into their worlds.

How This Applies to You …

Adjust your pace to spend happy time with your child. Rather than rushing through time together or fretting about your next task, relax into leisurely time with your child. Follow your child’s interests. Enjoy your child as he or she explores the world. Be together.

To Find Out More …

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas), visit our Navigating Life’s Journey blog.

For an excellent (and free!) program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at www.arfamilies.org and, if you have children less than 6 years of age, check out See the World Through My Eyes.

For more in-depth reading, we recommend The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting by Laurence Steinberg or Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott.

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