I was chatting with a friend yesterday about a book she had read regarding our relationship with our children. It had sort of a new thought or emphasis that I suppose I've read about before but it is usually put in terms of nurturing and not specifically in terms of using the term "marching orders". It was discussing the caution that we can get in the habit of only relating to our kids in terms of giving out 'marching orders' and not in terms of just having fun with them or talking with them about whatever. I thought it was a good warning to give especially in terms of a large family as there are so MANY marching orders to give out that we can easily fall into the trap of not talking with them and only seeing what needs to be done and having them do it. Sometimes my days can be like that in order to get through the day but I think I do make some of a point to chat with my kids. Sometimes I probably talk more with my kids about how things are going then worrying about the marching orders so I suppose a happy medium can be met. I just blogged on chatting with my daughter dear in Bloomington. Her marching orders are to keep marching - har, har. I can hear her marching in the background when we talk! Anyway, I think I need to keep this more in mind with my middle children as they are not really old enough to be having discussions about their life plans or at least they don't seem too interested and they easily can be taken advantage of in the 'get it done' department and forget to just sit down and have fun with them. There is a ton of work to be done around here and the potential for much giving out of marching orders but in the end, that is not the most important thing for them. Life can not only be about tasks and I personally start to go nutty when the emphasis is only on that. Why would I assume that is not true of the little people in my life too??? They are people with thoughts and feelings too. A favorite past time of mine is to stare at their eyes while they don't know I am looking and wonder what they are thinking about. Why would I assume they are any different than me with a desire to be related to.
Ways I have fun with them is to work with them and talk with them while we are working. I also try to make a point of taking kids with me to the store and really could do better on that one. They would enjoy the outing and it does give me an opportunity to talk with them. I recently took Benjamin to the store and you would think he just landed from another planet as he had SO many questions about everything. I NEED to take that boy out more. Cecilia was not much different. Benjamin in fact assumed I was taking him Christmas shopping as that was probably the last time he went to the store...........last year! Just sitting down on the couch and reading a book together or even not together while listening to music is a good thing. Grabbing their Scout book and helping them through doesn't hurt. Helping them with their Catechesis rather than just asking them if they've done it. Laughing more and helping them see they are more important than marching orders. Chilling out and laughing over stuff rather than stressing over them. Sigh. Double sigh. I hope my kids know they are more important than the marching orders I give out.
Instructions, instructions and forgetting the child inside that head. Not good. Sigh. Marching orders - uh yeah. I know I hate having relationships built on what I should be doing next so good old fashioned conversation and talking about why the stores put candy in the check out lane can only be a good thing (so mommy will be tempted by a Heath bar again). I love being appreciated and I love conversation myself. I hate only being talked to about the tasks at hand and the next fire to put out. It is the least I can do for my kiddos is take time to talk with them. I love my kids and certainly hope I can keep this in mind with all of them. I really think my house would look a lot nicer if I would just stop talking to them so much about life but.............see the words above........it is not always worth it.