In our group, we have been reading the book Raising Great Kids by Townsend and Cloud. I’m really looking forward to the next six groups because we will be talking about character development.
The first and most important character trait is the ability to connect with others and God. It makes sense, if we can connect emotionally to other people and to God, we can get through the many hardships of life. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8)
What are some relationships that have helped you through out your life and why?
We know what happens when people can’t connect to others. Another distorted reality is created and there is no source to stay grounded. However when is person is loved, she learns to love and ultimately able to receive resources for life.
We all know that the first years of a child’s life are most important to create attachment. How can we, as moms, help our children to develop this trait?
There are so many ways, but here are a few:
Creating a relationship that is engaged, safe and predictable.
Teaching them how to be people-oriented.
Helping them to internalize your love.
Developing the capacity for loss.
Relating to the world.
Developing give and take.
How does attachment happen?
“The child must experience the reality that relationship is good and that it brings the necessary elements of life. He becomes relationally-oriented rather than self-oriented.”
I talked with my mother-in-law the other day and she has been a great example for me in how to raise my daughter. She brought up a great point that we need to be around a lot but, more importantly, to be engaged. Of the practical things we can do, I think this is the most important. We can be around our children a lot but if we’re not interacting with them, children will protest at first and then respond with coldness themselves. I try to keep in mind what time is “Nora time”. So even if I’m trying to get something done or we’re visiting with others, that I’m also engaging her and moving at her pace.
The second practical is to stay engaged with God, along with other warm and supportive adults. Being a mom is draining (especially in the beginning) and we need to be filled up our selves in order to pour out.
I talked with a friend about her teenagers. They are adults now but I asked her what was the most important thing she did to help her children be spiritual and relational (they are extremely loving). She said that they had lifelong friends that are in their kids life. No matter where they move, they skype and take family vacations together. I thought this was such a great tip that I hope to imitate!
We can never be perfect moms, but we can be present moms.