The Power of Connection
I first came across the words “parent/child connectedness” in the late ‘90s when I was researching sexual purity for teen girls. It turns out that across the board—more than any other factor—parent child connectedness was the strongest risk reducer for teen sexual activity and a myriad of other at-risk activities parents fear including substance abuse, violence, and performing poorly in school. That had my ear. I wanted to know more.
Parent/child connectedness is defined as being closely bonded by common traditions and frequently occurring activities. I think a good definition of it would be “intentional togetherness.” It’s eating dinner five or more times a week as a family, as opposed to eating on the run or in front of the television every night. It’s heading out to the forest to chop down a tree once a year because it’s your family’s Christmas tradition. It’s playing with, cooking with, camping with and studying with your child because it’s what your family does. Quality time? A myth! Our kids need quantity that comes with great quality here and there.
Action Point: At dinner one night this week, write a list of your family’s ten favorite activities to do. Make them official—traditions more or less—by writing them down. Could be playing laser tag or making Grandma’s famous cinnamon buns together. Once you’ve got the list, post it on your fridge and pick one to do together right away!
Dannah Gresh is the best-selling author of Six Ways To Keep The Little In Your Girl and Six Ways To Keep The Good In Your Boy (Harvest House). Both books provide practical advice on how to become a connecting mom in an effort guide your children from their tweens to their teens with a value system that reflects God. www.purefreedom.org