Wednesday, April 18, 2012

6,000 Steps to a Better Relationship

I have 3 beautiful boys, ages 3, 2, and 6 months.  Some days that is a whole lot of preschool in one house.  By "a whole lot of preschool" I mean my days are filled with noises and questions.  Some days that gets tiring and I begin to get annoyed.  My kids know when that happens, but they are preschoolers and that is just what they do.

As I seek to build better relationship with my children - yep, it really does take being intentional - I've learned that taking walks is a great way to strengthen our time together.  You see, when we're walking, I am not distracted by dishes, laundry, work, the internet... They get my focus.

This is what a 3 mile walk with 2 preschoolers sounds like:
What is that?  Do you see the hyacinths?  Look, a robin!  He's in my space.  That smells good.  Why are they breaking the sidewalk?  What kind of truck is that?  What is it doing?  Where is Walgreens?  Where are we going?  How do they do that?  Why is there sugar in your blood?  Why did Skoshi run away?  Why does daddy have to work?  Can I pay bills?  I found a penny!  Let's watch the cement mixer.  Can I blow the dandelion seeds?

Okay, it goes on and on - we could seriously discuss all of those things before we leave our street - these boys have rapid fire commentary as we walk.  The beautiful thing though, is that when we walk - mama is right there to answer all of their questions.  I know they are working to figure the world out and their questions and comments are sincere.  I do not want to ignore them, because they are reaching out for information that will help them grow.  Not only will it help them grow, but as I answer as many questions as I can honestly - I am building trust with them.  Honest answers means that sometimes I have to stop and say, "I don't know".  It does not bother my boys that I don't know, they don't know either.

When I listen to their commentary and affirm the things they see, they know I am listening to them, really listening.  They feel valued.  They discover that they are smart.  I am more aware of what they have picked up on and what things we need to work on.  We often stop to notice letters, birds, various plants, construction, bugs - whatever interests my boys on a particular day.

We are building better relationships by walking.  Getting healthier does not just mean physically.

What do you do to build better relationships with your kids?


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