Friday, January 25, 2013

3 Ways to Reconnect with Your Child

When you are homeschooling and find that you and your child aren't connecting it's time to take a step back from SCHOOL and focus on HOME.

Here are a few things that I have done to move forward with my child.

1. Pray

Spend sometime asking God for wisdom, ideas and direction with your child. Take time to repent for  the attitudes, anger, judgements that have built up in your own heart around your current relationship with that child. Bless them in prayer. Start thanking God for all their positive attributes.

2. Have a Mediated Talk
Get the tea ready and perhaps an enticing snack. Sit your child down and ask them what they think of your relationship. Ask them how they feel when the both of you_____ (argue, get frustrated with each other, walk away, etc.) Ask them what they think should change.
Just listen. Ask questions and listen.

If you find that they are hesitant to share, start first. Be short and to the point. (ie. My heart is sad because you and I are fighting/getting frustrated/etc. I want to get along and understand you better.)

3. Make a Plan Together
I usually come to the table with a lot of ideas, but if we are going to move forward together my child needs to have ownership invested in the plan.
The first thing I announce is that any kind of "formal learning" is on hold. I tell them that their heart and their character is more important than science right now. I lay out the plan for the week ahead by saying, "We're going to read and play games. I also want you to teach me how to do something related to your current hobby."

For families who are very curriculum based, this may be hard for you to do. But relax, you can find many games that cover math, geography, spelling, etc.
The idea with game playing is to re-establish having fun together, build memories together and release laughter into your relationship again.

Some questions I ask are:
What games do you want to play?
What hobby are you currently involved? (In my case, my daughter loves animae drawing, so she is instructing me in how to draw a typical animae eye).
Name two activities we could do outdoors together.
If you and I were to cook a meal together, what would it be?
For some families, a question to ask might be, "Can you teach me how to play a certain video game?"
What can we build together?
What books do you want to read together?
What audiobook can we listen to together?

Once you have come up with enough ideas of things together, plan a time each day that will be "your together time" during the week. Talk with your family and let everyone know that right now you need to spend this time one-on-one with this child. For larger families, work out with the older children a time of working with the younger ones.

Enjoy reconnect with your child.

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