Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Connected Are You With Your Children, Or Significant Other?

Yesterday brought the biggest smile to my face!

It started in the morning as I was making breakfast for my three children, rushing to get them fed and out the door for school. Jake, my 8 year old son, asked me if I had an idea for his invention project. (A little history: each student in his class has to come up with an invention, develop a prototype, and present it on June 7th at school). I told him that it was his project and he needed to come up with the invention on his own. He lowered his head, knowing I was right. Ten minutes later, Michael (my husband) walked all three to the bus stop. I then began making myself a hearty filling breakfast, being 19 weeks pregnant. When Michael walked in, I turned and spontaneously said, "Jake should just call it a day and make glow in the dark goggles." Michael chuckled.

Now the part on how connected Jake and I are. After school, as I was cutting Jake a piece of homemade coffee cake, I asked him if he had come up with an invention. He perked up and with a radiant smile said, "Yes! I'm going to invent glow in the dark goggles." My eyes got huge and I broke out laughing. Then I replied, "Jake, are you serious?" and he confirmed by pulling out an invention form he filled out at school that he committed to inventing glow in the dark goggles. I shared with him what I said early in the morning to his dad. He loved that we had thought the same invention idea. And ironically he had come up with the idea on the school bus which was the same time I had thought the same thought.

I know I'm connected to my children, but I also work at it. I pay attention and listen closely to what they are saying or asking. I try to feel what they are feeling. I try to see what they seeing. And it's moments like these that confirm how connected each of us are if we just pay attention.

Being connected means you are part of that person's life. The following are simple questions to help you know how connected you are with your children, spouse, friends or family:

1. Can you end each other's sentences?
2. Do you intuitively know if something isn't right with the person?
3. Have you ever blurted out something that the other person was thinking? For instance, my husband was watching television and all I kept thinking about was ordering a pizza. Within seconds, he asked me if I wanted to order a pizza.
4. Have you ever done anything without the person asking, and come to find out later that the person was hoping you'd help out with it. Two nights ago I was at Jake's swim team practice. I also had Joshua, one of my twins. It was 5:30 pm and all I kept thinking about was getting home and cooking the chicken for dinner. I was so tired, but knew I needed to fix a healthy meal for my kids. When I reached home, Michael was outside playing baseball with Madison. As I smiled and walked passed him, he said he already grilled the chicken and started boiling the water for corn on the cob. I was in SHOCK! Michael has never prepared dinner, unless I asked him or he was with the kids alone. And I'll tell you, he earned a lot of brownie points for doing that one gesture. My gut tells me he picked up on my thought of needing to start dinner. Maybe it's the pregnancy that has amped our connection. It was what I needed!

I hope you'll share stories of how you and your children, spouse, family and friends are connected. And please email me if you are looking for any tips on how to become more connected.

Have a wonderful day!


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