“I counted to 304 last night.” my 8 year old daughter said.
“Why did you do that?” I asked.
“I was waiting for Mom to come scratch my back”.
As she often does, Roxanne announced after family prayer that she would be up to their bed rooms in 5 minutes to give everyone who had brushed their teeth and were in bed a back scratch. This routine is a regular family ritual at the end of the day. She likes to take some time with each child at bed time to talk to them and give each her undivided attention while giving them back scratches. I’ve tried to assist at times with this important ritual, but for some reason my short nails just don’t do as well!
I asked Afton how far she could have counted before she fell asleep. About 400 she thought. So here’s evidence that this small act of service by my wife is looked forward to enough that a sleepy little girl could count to 400 waiting for that time together. Our teenagers take flying leaps into the beds when they hear Mom coming too, not wanting to miss their time with her.
My thought is this; if we adults like feeling close and connected, even our prickly teenagers need that too. Find a way to show affection very, very often. A one armed squeeze around their shoulders, a back scratch while watching a show together, a hand laid on a shoulder while giving praise, a hip bump while teasing them, being playful in a good natured way, a wrestling match. Think of what you used to do when your children were smaller, then find a way to reach out and connect today.
Stay tuned for our e-zine coming out next week where Roxanne will review a long loved book on little family traditions that build unity and a feeling of love and belonging.
To Family Success and Happiness!
Tim R. Thayne
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