With the holidays quickly approaching,I wanted to share my Keys to C.O.N.N.E.C.T. These are lessons and truths I’ve learned over the years through experience with my family that have been instrumental in bringing peace and building strong relationships. The first key we talked about was Communication. I have 7 keys to share with you in total, and they each represent a letter in the word connect.
We need to be open in our relationships with our spouses and children. We can’t just assume that they will know what we are feeling or why we are acting a certain way.
I don’t know why, but it’s so easy as a parent to feel like we can’t be open with our children and tell them how we’re feeling. So many children grow up feeling disconnected from their parents when they see them saying one thing and acting a different way. Often, as parents, we carry a lot of weight on us, which makes it easy to get angry or frustrated at our kids behavior, explode, and then just move on without ever discussing with our children why that happened. It can leave them feeling guilty or that they can’t do things right, when the incident may have honestly had little or nothing to do with them. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve had to apologize to my kids and just share with them what is going on in my heart.
When I was growing up, my parents didn’t do this often (if ever), but this is something that builds our kids up, shows them we trust them with our feelings and requires us to be vulnerable. It is hard to admit when we are wrong, but our kids need to see from us that its okay to make mistakes as long as we follow through and do our best to make them right. When our kids understand that we can trust them with our feelings and our heart, it will help them to trust us as well. That is important in laying the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship.
It is hard to admit when we are wrong, but our kids need to see from us that its okay to make mistakes as long as we follow through and do our best to make them right.
If you start this process while your children are young, they are going to know that you are a safe place for them to confide their hearts and feelings when they are teenagers. Instead of pulling away from you, they will know that even though they might make mistakes and bad choices, you are going to be there for them through it.
A little disclaimer – you need to be wise in what you share with your children. Discretion is a virtue. Although you need to be open, obviously there are things that an eight year old would better understand than a four year old. When we share things with our kids that they’re not ready for, it can cause fear and anxiety. Just ask God for wisdom every day. James 1 talks about asking God for wisdom, and states that God wants to give it to us generously!
Take some time to connect with your family by way of being open. I would love to hear about it! I know it can be difficult to be vulnerable, but try it out, and, if you’re feeling especially courageous, please share how it went!