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Building Great Relationships with Your Kids, by Tod Francis

Stashed in: @chrismichel, Parents

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His life goal is to build great relationships with his kids.

It's about more than watching soccer games.

An easy way to engage with our children is to observe their activities, such as attending soccer games, swim meets, school plays, or other types of performances. This is very rewarding, but our time is limited and I started to ask myself if this was the best way to spend time with my kids. Observation does not allow parents to engage or interact with the child.  While I loved watching my boys’ activities, I found that just “doing stuff” together was more meaningful. As an example, I decided to skip watching one of my son’s soccer games each week and use that time to mountain bike with him instead.  That turned into a special weekly tradition for both of us.  When I look back, I don’t remember standing on the sidelines as much as the times we made movies, explored new hiking trails, rode bikes, or threw the football around.

Learn something new with your child

Learning something new together is a great way to get to a new relationship.  By becoming students together there is a sense of shared curiosity and excitement.  A unique bond forms when you experience something for the first time with someone. My oldest son and I learned to backcountry ski together, we took our first avalanche safety class together, and we have been touring partners for almost ten years. My younger son and I learned to kitesurf at the same time. By starting at the same level, we shared equally in the challenges and joys of the sport. We plan our outings together and have experienced incredible memories through this partnership. It is so different to interact as a partner rather than as a parent.

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