Years ago, an episode of Oprah featured an incredible wife and mother who was dying of cancer. This woman decided to videotape herself discussing a wide range of topics so that her daughter could have conversations with mom once she was gone. Leading up to her passing, this woman’s family did a number of wonderful activities to create happy times and memories. However, what touched so many viewers was that when the tween-age daughter was asked what her favorite memory was of her mom, she recounted one late night when the two of them simply went to the kitchen, ate cornflakes and hung out together.
Those minutes and moments of basic intimacy with our kids are priceless. Not only do they allow us to know and be known by our children, but they are the healthy building blocks of the lifelong relationships we’ll have with them over the years. Added bonus: the good feelings we enjoy in these moments send a surge of happy hormones throughout our bodies, boosting our health and immunity. There’s power in connection.
How do we create such times when it’s so natural to get caught up in the push and pull of daily life? It’s easy for parenting to devolve into a stressful whirlwind of commuting, drop offs, meeting the demands of work and school, paying the bills, extended family obligations, pulling meals together, fears that we’re not doing enough or too much, and obtaining and maintaining all of our stuff. Here are three suggestions.