One simple way to create wonderful relationships with your kids
Each day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
What would happen if we pretended our relationships to our kids to behave like bank accounts?
When I pondered this quote two wonderful ideas came to my mind:
1. Small moments add up. - We can make every moment matter.
It’s not just the big holidays and events that a child remembers. Small things done repeatedly add up to be a big influence in our children’s lives.
One of my most treasured childhood memories
is of my grandpa playing his harmonica for us kids at sleep time. He also taught us the silliest songs. With him the dreaded “going to have a nap” was fun! And though he passed away long ago, he still lives on in those memories that I share with my kids.Do you have a similar memory?
What are the little fun or comforting rituals that you remember from your childhood?
There are so many opportunities during an average day to fill our kid’s memory banks with positive images. The way you say good morning or good night, the little rituals around dinnertime, or how we help (or don’t help) our little or older kids to get dressed, …
Use them! Get creative! Which moment can you use to create more fun and connection with your kids this week?
2. Stay out of debt - The Emotional Bank Account
Imagine your relationship with your child to be similar to a bank account.
(Not very sexy, is it? But bear with me.)
Whenever your child enjoys having you around, you make a deposit into her account. Withdrawals are all the things that make her feel rejected or betrayed by you.
A positive balance
helps our kids feel calm, supported and safe. Our kids can be friendly and helpful and really pleasant to have around.
On a negative balance
they become anxious, restless, easily agitated and might act out or withdraw. What’s more, they don’t listen so well any more either.
Then we end up nagging and getting frustrated with them. It’s like paying interest on a negative balance. It sucks!
Clearly, not only events pay into this account. Memories and assumptions do the same
.Did your child do something wonderful?
Tell her so! (Or him of course.) Not only once, so she knows what you liked, but refresh those memories
When your kids are young, brag about it in front of them.
Older kids might not like that publicity so much.
Hang up pictures of you together having fun. A very good place for those is the bathroom, right next to the place where they sit and wait and wait…
The best way to destroy your relationship
with your kids is to assume negative intend
for something your kids do.
The thought alone will withdraw
from your version of that account. You'll react less kind and take credit of your kids account in turn.
Dwell on those things and you create a downward spiral.
(Guilty of that? don't despair. There's also a way to fill up your account
So, should you never tell your children off
, when they do something wrong? – Of course not! They need to know what you expect of them. How else could they know how to behave?
What about being supermom and never blowing it?
Never being exhausted and always patient and kind, even at the end of the day? Are there any such fairytale superwomen and superman around? If we’d be, how would our kids cope with the fact that they sometimes blow it too? Would they become superkids? – or get depressed because they could never measure up to us?
Luckily, avoiding withdrawals is not the only way to keep a positive balance in an account. Just up your deposit
– one surprising hug
, special compliment, invitation to help you, game to play or silly kissing game at the time
Stay tuned in for more in depth ideas and inspiration to connect with your kids, that works even if you're short on time.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
In the comments below, let me know: Did you ever have a negative
balance on your kids emotional accounts? What happened? And what small emotional deposit can you give your child right now?
Please share as much detail as possible as many incredible people come here each week for insight and inspiration. Your story may just be what someone else needs to have a breakthrough.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts and stories.
With lots of love