“Mom! Put down your phone!,” my child yelled.

Oh my…I hadn’t even realized they were trying to talk to me. Day to day life has a way of pulling my attention all over the place, and I had failed to hone the art of connection with my children.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my good, all-in days, but I do find myself escaping by scrolling through my phone, listening to a podcast, or turning on a favorite tv show as background noise while I clean and cook. If I’m not intentional, this becomes my normal.

I don’t believe that any of us mother’s INTEND not to listen to our children. I don’t believe it’s our heart to ever overlook their emotional needs. But it does happen.

With one particularly explosive argument, my daughter lost it. She screamed, cried, and completely came undone. She said mean things, and I could tell she felt out of control. Her behavior was completely irrational. Truth be told, I cried too. Her words were like little darts, and I felt helpless in figuring out what to do.

I left her in her room to cool off and I sat still for a moment. I felt the Lord speak…

“Take her to Wild Roast.”

Wild Roast is a local coffee shop. I knew this must be God because the last thing that I wanted to do with a mean acting child was have alone time and connect.

Yet, that’s exactly what she needed.

Her walls came down, she felt safe, and she connected with my heart. I didn’t take the time then to correct her actions or tell her she hurt my feelings. I left that for another time. The goal right then was simply to connect. We sat, sipped our drinks, played a game, and chatted about food. Later we were able to have a conversation that was honoring of both parties and allowed apologies and heart change.

Connection is so important for your children’s heart. For my daughter and youngest child, quality time equals connection. For my oldest, it’s touch: scratching his back or sitting beside him to watch him game means the world.

Getting to know that little person with the big personality staring back at you will take a lot of practice. It takes listening and intentional connection. It isn’t wise to lord over them with yelling or controlling phrases. They will retreat and give up even trying to connect with you. You will lose the opportunity to have a deep relationship with your growing child. Sometimes you will fail hard and sometimes you will have the most stellar parenting moments. File both away because they will help another mama in your same shoes.

You got this mama! Here’s one of my favorite connection tools.

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