We ask children who go to school about what they did all day. Spin the story of your day to their level of comprehension.
Focus on some aspect of who you helped, who helped you, or something creative you worked on.
Find a way to let them know you’re working on all the same skills you expect them to be learning in their daily lives. Over time they will come to know you as a person in the world in addition to being an amazing mom or dad.
It often takes becoming a parent yourself before you ever think about the odd duality of devoting your time and energy to another being, while still having this whole other part of your personality and personal history competing for attention. Surprise! Your parents went through the same thing.
This family bonding challenge is all about stopping that tradition of separating ourselves as people from ourselves as parents.
Your kids are not too young to understand what you do. If you can focus on something they can relate to and consistently share that part of your life, then eventually they will understand you have a broader position in the world.
When your children are very young, they may not have a way to ask you questions or further the conversation about what you’re sharing. But you will be setting a precedent for future conversations. This is another way of playing the long-game of family bonding.
They don’t know how much work it is to meal plan and tidy the house. They will understand that you thought about what everybody needed for the week, spent time making a plan so everyone could be prepared, and did your part in making a safe clean home you could enjoy together. Get the idea?
Somer is the Chief Content Officer at Birth2Work living in Redondo Beach, California with her husband and three-year-old son. She spent 10 years in the architecture field as a designer and medical planner and now applies her love of integrative thinking and big-picture planning to her family and career. Read full bio >>
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