The other day my cousin kissed a boy! Haha, I know, funny way to start a post, but I won’t say which cousin so as not to embarrass her. She is sixteen years old, so of course we all felt like this was alright and kind of exciting. What I loved about the story though was not any of the specifics but that she told both of her parents the story herself and shared this part of her life with them. When I was talking to her sister I asked if all of the kids so easily shared this kind of information with their parents and she said that even the boys did. WOW! Well of course I analyzed what I knew about their family and came up with a few theories of what could be the cause of this parent-child openness. Then I came down to reality and just asked her why she did it? She said she felt like the one major factor contributing to this openness was:
ONE ON ONE TIME!
She said throughout growing up, even though she was in a family of five very active kids, her parents always made time to be with each of them individually. “No one wants to share the intricate details of their life at a family dinner.” But when a parent would take one of them out for ice cream really or even just take one to the store with them, this private time with a parent let them feel like they could share their feelings and lives freely. They knew their parents cared about them as individuals, and cared about their relationship with just them.
I know many people try to do regular daddy-daughter dates. One of my mom’s favorite things to do is to eat lunch every week with my brother who is going to college. This one on one time develops a relationships in ways that I’m not sure you can accomplish through other means. Whatever you do, whether it’s as simple as going quickly to fill up a tank of gas or as extravagant as dinner and a movie, my challenge to you is to make one on one time with your kids. Give them a chance to share their life with just you, and you may be surprised at just how willing they are to do it!