As I sat and watched my oldest son play with his younger siblings I thought to myself, oh, how I adore him! When did he become so grown up? Where has the time gone? Why does it have to go by so fast? Will we always be close? What does the future hold for us? As I pondered these things it was hard for me not to become emotional.
I worry so much about whether or not we’ll have a close relationship the rest of our lives. I would be naïve if I said I know we’ll always be close. The teenage years will be here before I know it and I KNOW things won’t be easy then, but I hope and pray that our foundation will already be established and strong enough to withstand our challenges and even though we will drive each other crazy at times, we will still have a good relationship.
The only way this can happen though is if we start building that strong foundation NOW! He needs to know that he can trust me, that I’ll always be here for him and that he can come to me with anything. He needs to feel safe and secure with our relationship. He needs to know that he is loved and will always be loved no matter what.
I have noticed that as my children grow older my love for them continues to grow, but it’s growing differently than how it was when they were babies.
Having ages 8, 5, and 18-month aged children at home has really made me come to this realization. To be honest I don’t really like it. I have noticed my love for each one of them is different and how I am on a different level with each one of them. That sounds terrible to say and I don’t mean it the way it sounds…it’s hard to explain.
This is a strange and new experience for me having a wide range of ages in my home, so I am not used to feeling all the emotions that comes with parenting at this point.
When my children were babies my love for them was indescribable. They needed me all day, every day. I would wait on them hand and foot, and I loved every minute of it. I absolutely adored my babies and wanted to breathe them in every second I could.
Now, that love is still there as they get older, but it’s changing. They don’t need me as much anymore, they are becoming more independent. They aren’t wanting and needing me all day anymore. They are becoming their own, individual selves and I can literally feel my love changing. It’s hard for me to describe, but what’s really the struggle is letting it happen.
Love evolves. It’s no different than when you first start falling in love with someone. For example, my husband and I were so infatuated with each other at the beginning, we never wanted to be apart. We were so in love that I never thought it was possible to love him any more than that, but I do.
Our love has changed over these past 10 years of being together. The infatuation has faded quite a bit, but the love is stronger than ever before. It’s grown firmly into admiration of our history together as a couple. We’ve experienced and endured so much that it’s made our love for one another become more solid and real.
That’s how I feel with my son. Over the years our love has developed a history, it has bonded us in ways that can never be erased. Our love is maturing and changing into a real relationship with memories that are intact. The cute puppy love (the baby love) is fading out and the real relationship love is fading in.
I don’t like change. It’s hard for me. I have a hard time adapting and letting go. This is the time where I can either make or break my relationship with my son. I know without a doubt that I don’t want to break it. So, I’m going to do all that I can to continue to build a strong, loving relationship.
Some days are harder than others. We butt heads a lot. He can be quite difficult and stubborn more often than not, but as the days keep moving forward I am realizing more and more that my control over him is dwindling quickly. He is becoming an individual now, someone who needs to make his own choices and learn from his own mistakes. He needs to fall in order to fly.
It’s so hard to loosen that rope though and let him make his own decisions. I feel the more I loosen that rope the more he won’t need or want me, and I’ll lose him forever.
So, I’ve made it a priority to build and strengthen my relationship with my son; to rediscover our evolving love for each other and make it stronger than ever!
HOW TO BUILD A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SON
- Spend quality one on one time with him daily (if possible.) If it’s not possible to have the one on one time because of other littles at home, then spend time with all of them. Just spend time together. It doesn’t have to be long, 20 minutes is plenty, but this is something he’ll remember forever.
- Go on dates with him at least once a month, if possible. I know, this can be finically difficult, or schedules can make this difficult as well, but if you take him out on dates when you can this will bring you closer together by making memories with just the two of you.
- Snuggle as long as he’ll let you! My favorite time of the day is when we snuggle in bed together and talk. We talk about anything and everything. I love it!
- Be there for him ALL THE TIME! If you are busy doing something and he approaches you to talk to you about something, stop everything you’re doing, look him right in the eyes and listen to him. Show him he’s number one and nothing is more important than him.
- When he comes to you with a mistake he made, don’t get angry. Talk it out. It’s ok to show your disappointment and to let him know that, but don’t be angry.
- Praise him for all the things he tries at. Show him that trying is all that matters, no matter what the outcome is.
- Be there for him day and night and make sure he knows it!
- Talk to him! Ask him tons of questions about his interests, school, likes, dislikes, ask if he has any questions about life that he doesn’t understand. Have an open relationship that he feels he can come to you with anything.
- Learn about his interests so you can understand him more and bond over his interests. Better yet, have him teach you about his interests.
- Love him hard, especially on the bad days. Point it out to him, help him realize that even if he’s crabby you still love him so much!
- Write him notes in his books, lunch, or backpack when he’s old enough to read.
- Make him feel special and unique.
- Make him feel that your family will fall apart without him. Show him that his life has meaning, and he has a special role in it.
- Teach him how to be a gentleman and to always be kind and respectful to others.
- Don’t force it. Let your relationship build naturally and have fun!
Change is tough, but you never know what may come from it. It’s never too late to start building a stronger relationship with your son.
If you have any ideas on how to build a stronger relationship, please comment. I’d love to hear them.