Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Connection

I can't remember where I read about this Family Connection Writing Center, but I saw it on someone's blog in November (sorry!). It appears to be based on an idea in Amanda Soule's book Handmade Home. As a long time letter writer, I love the idea of a little corner spot to store all your correspondence related items. 

What really struck me about this article though, was this:
When we spend our days with small children, so much of life has to be focused on the here and now that we sometimes forget we're actually building long-term relationships. We forget, or just don't even think about, the fact that our children will one day be grownups with whom we will have lifelong, grownup relationships. And we will have those grownup relationships for a whole lot longer than we have small children in the house!
I think it is SO important that we remember that these little people we love and tend to and get frustrated with and feed and bath and clothe will not be there forever. They are going to get bigger. They are going to change. And they are going to remember the lessons that we teach them when they are with us.

So if we teach them that our relationships with our older relatives are not important, then they may not see their relationships with us as important when they are adults. And if we don't treat our children with respect now, what kind of relationship will we have with them when they are adults?

I'm not suggesting that we should "be friends" with our children. As parents, we are supposed to teach our children and train them. So, I'm definitely not talking about letting your kid do whatever they want just so they will like you. (I suspect if you do, your kid won't respect you.) But there is a line between "befriending" your child and having fun with your child.

I know that I want to have a relationship with my child when she's an adult. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents. They were strict and had expectations of me. We also had a good time and made wonderful memories. Now that I am adult, they let me be an adult and make my decisions. We enjoy each other's company and we are still making memories.

In a sense, this little paragraph sums up what my whole blog is about: building family relationships.

What do you think? How are you building relationships in your family?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Beautiful post! My family has a relationship very much like you describe of yours. I hope that if we are ever able to have children, that we foster the same type of relationship that my parents did with my siblings & I.