Trying to make the connection
It’s been difficult lately to make a good solid connection with my kids. I have two toddlers; 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 years.
Although parenting is somewhat new to me, I would assume that I would be a little better at making a connection with them (my kids), especially because my career led me to mastering the art of personal connection.
Within my career as a youth motivator, I’ve had an optimal opportunity to connect with everyday individuals who are looking for a better life. This want/need and desire (to be a better person) has fueled so many inspirational conversations within the hundreds of communities I’ve traveled to. This opportunity has instilled a talent; one that very few harness – connectivity with humanity.
For years I’ve said I would be an awesome father because I can connect so well with teenagers. But, what I failed to understand is that before teenagers become present they must first become toddlers and many other different stages in between.
I surely must say that I was eager to become a father. I knew that one day I would be able to provide insight and leadership to my own offspring, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so difficult in the initial stages.
There are a couple of factors that come into play within the disconnect. One, I’ve never really truly played with a baby or a toddler for more than 25 minutes at a time prior to becoming a father. I find it extremely difficult to find interesting ways to entertain them. Plus, they’re always running around, barely sit still and can never make up their mind. This itself is very frustrating.
Two, my mind is so focused on myself; my business, my passions, my wife and her needs, and just everyday living. That’s what it has been focused on for so many years. I find it difficult to find the availability within my mind to maintain a direct focus on my children’s needs sometimes.
Both of these qualities contradict each other.
It wasn’t until I learned that I had the initial disconnect with my children that I started finding alternatives and solutions to the issue. Since then, I’ve directed a significantly less amount of my focus on my business, materialism or anything external actually.
These days I focus on how I can put a smile on the faces of my children and how I can interact with them more. In reality, they’re really the only important things in my life. The accomplishment comes a distant second.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.
Things that I’ve done in progression to my goal of connecting more with my children/family:
1. List of 100 things I can do with my kids
2. Scheduled ‘quality family time’ – at least one hour a day (and stick to it)
3. List three different trips my family can go on this year – local and distant
4. I started interacting with my children/family more when I’m away – I leave love letters and thank you notes around the house for my wife and children, and I FaceTime them more often during the day when I’m at work. This helps them understand that I appreciate them, I love them, and that I’m looking forward to seeing them soon.
We are all poor connectors with certain people. You can never jive perfectly with everyone. Whether you like it or not, there’s someone who you have a difficult time connecting with. Whether it’s your father-in-law, a coworker, your significant other, teenagers, or anyone in between, there’s (always) someone who you just can’t seem to find the proper connectivity channel with.
Don’t feel bad.
If you’re at all looking to connect more with any type of individual in your life I recommend you trying the same exercise I did. Focus on what the person likes, what would put a smile on their face, or what has put a smile on their face already, and Chip-away at the connectivity stone by interacting more with this individual. Focus on the activities that he/she likes, and direct your focus away from yourself.
If it’s your father-in-law you’re looking to connect more with, choose to take him out hunting, or Billiards or anything really. Mingle with him and get to know him. Ask your wife what puts a smile on his face.
I have the same issue with my father-in-law. It’s literally impossible to crack a smile on his face, but when I do it’s priceless.
The first step is understanding that you have the disconnect. The second step is looking into the situation further and the finding ways to connect. The third step is to take action, and just do it!
I now feel like that optimal father I was talking about.
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