NewDirection Life Coaching

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Parents vs. Grandparents

As parents many of us try to “do it right”, be the perfect parents, yada-yada. Regardless, try as we might, most of us did not end up as the “perfect parents.” Of course hindsight is 20-20, and as grandparents we get to give it another try. However, it’s totally different!
My dream has come true. I used to wish that, when I was a grandparent, I would get down to the child’s level, hold out my arms and my grandchildren would lovingly run into my arms (yes, like a sappy TV commercial). And it happens when I see my grandchildren!
I got to thinking about this and considering why my grandkids like seeing me.
When my granddaughter, who just turned 11, comes to visit for a couple days – I know ahead of time she is coming and I completely clear my schedule to be able to spend all my time with her while she is here. I spend dedicated time with my grandchildren, much more than I did with my children, as a parent. The older (and wiser) I get, the more I understand that spending time with children is IMPORTANT.
How much dedicated time are you spending with your children? I recently read that parents should spend 30 minutes a week, dedicated time, with your child – EACH child, doing what THEY want to do. That means if your child wants to…
• Color
• Play a game
• Have a tea party
• Play video games
• Shoot hoops
• Have a driving lesson (if they have their permit)
• Plant a garden
• Go for a run
• Or many other options
…you do it! Maybe it’s not what you would prefer, but as long as it’s safe… you do it. This is their time. Watching TV doesn’t count, because you aren’t really “communicating” while you’re vegetating.

You will not be…
• Taking phone calls
• Checking email/facebook/twitter
• Surfing the net, unless you & your child are looking up something specific.
This is your child’s time. They should have your FULL attention!

How about this weekend? Ask your child to spend some time with you, doing what they want to do. After the quizzical looks passes off their face, it will be replaced with a big smile! ENJOY!

*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach, in the Raleigh area.*

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