*Be silly--My kids just love being silly: dancing, skipping, making up silly jokes, giggling at stupid cartoons, making crazy faces. Just be silly!
*Play one more game--My son is obsessed with Monopoly right. Games could go on and on for days at a time and it can definitely wear on this Mommy's nerves. But he cherishes every moment we spend playing this game together. So just one more game, Mom!
*Give one more tickle--Again, my son is very physical. His love language is touch. And although he doesn't like to be rough when he wrestles, he does love to be tickled.
*Ignore your to-do list--This is a hard one for me. I'm very Type-A and I have a running to-do list that is more than a mile long. But the goal is to set it aside for a time each day and listen to what matters to them.
*Tell them you love them--My youngest really needs to hear "I love you" constantly. He just craves that reassurance. And I don't want my kids to ever grow up thinking "Do they really love me? They never say it." Just say it!
*Give them another hug--And hold them for a long while. There's nothing like a hug that you can just melt into. It just reminds them how truly safe they are.
*Say yes--This is another big one. How often do we say No in a day? And how many of those No's can turn into Yes'? I know often I say No out of habit when I could just turn it around and make a new memory.
*Tell them the strengths you see in them-- Along with the No's, how much of our day to day interaction focuses on correction and discipline? Our children need us to pour into them 10x as much as we correct them. Pour in that love and tell them what good qualities you see in them. Give them a long term perspective of how awesome they're made.
*Do something they love--Monopoly? Need I say more.... Skip on the way to the gym. Watch them ride their bike out front. Make a special dessert together. What does your child love? Pick a time and do something THEY love.
*Speak only encouraging words--Pour into them. Pour into them. Pour into them. No, this is not reality. This is the goal. Turn your correction around into encouraging them to do the right thing. Encourage their dreams. Encourage their friendships (within reason). Encourage their grow. Pour, pour, pour out those encouraging words.
What ways are you finding to connect with your kids?