Generation Cedar

  • Stop what you’re doing and make eye contact with the one speaking to you. It says, “I care about what you’re saying enough to take the time to really listen.”
  • Study your husband and children, find out little things that they like and do those things periodically. For example, does your husband love a back rub? Don’t forget. Does he have a favorite food that you remember? Do you have a child that loves you to play with her hair? Little things that communicate intimacy keep relationships close. Busyness causes us to skip over these things.
  • Play games with each other. A lot.
  • Carve out time to “hang out” and talk, especially with your older children. Night time is a good time for that.
  • Take turns taking a child with you on errands. If you can ride with your husband periodically, do. Have fun and laugh together.
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14 Responses

  1. Great advice! I have to say from observation that these are all things I notice going on in the happiest families I know. They’re not perfect people, but they are building great relationships and their homes are such havens.

      1. Kelly, if you lived closer..I would have bought you a couple! It was funny listening to the three at home figure out who was going to get that last one.

  2. Eye contact is so big. We have two children with Autism, so eye contact is very, very hard for them. You don’t realize how personal and intimate it is until you don’t have it. It really speaks to a person to have someone look them in the eye when they speak. I have put it like this. You can hear what someone is saying, but listening is an active event. Listening requires more than just hearing the words a person is saying. We always want to listen, not just hear.

    1. Katy,

      And don’t you think, now, more than ever, our technology makes it SO very hard to practice eye contact and is KILLING our relationships? A couple sat across from us at a restaurant last week and LITERALLY never stopped looking at their phones until their food came. They didn’t say a word. Relationships take deliberate work, they don’t just develop naturally.

      1. I very much agree. I watched a couple, looked like they were dating) sitting next to each other at a restaurant booth, laughing, smiling, and very engaged….with their cell phone texting. They never once looked up, at each other, or talked to each other. I was so sad for them wondering what married life would be like for them if they got married. They ate with their phones in one hand texting. At one point my husband and I both thought they looked like they might be texting each other.

        Technology is such a helpful tool. Our kids are very much helped by the many advances in technology with regards to their many therapies, equipment, and so on. But, there comes a point when we have to turn technology off and turn to a real person. I think for every minute I spend with technology, I spend a few hours with real people. I hope I always keep it that way. It’s how it should be. When we use a computer for our interactions, we become more bold in those interactions (and not in a good way). We do things we often wouldn’t dream of doing “in real life”. We also close ourselves off to the real world.

        I remember a movie that came out a few years ago called Wall-E. Everyone was plugged in to their computer, floating around on chairs, never actually having real human contact. It really isn’t that fictional of an idea if you think about it.

  3. You’re trying to make me feel guilty, aren’t you? 😉

    Seriously, I’m a very nose-in-a-book type (I’ll bet you couldn’t have guessed that), and eye contact is…um…you know, I’m not remotely disabled, so I can’t pretend I’m an Aspie or anything, but I’m tempted to, here. Seriously need to work on that…

  4. Love the tips. My family hates games, so maybe I’ll use your blog to make them play with me. 😉

    For Mother’s Day last year, my daughter wrote a card and thanked me for always listening to her talk, any time. It really made me see what she valued and I try to do it more, even though sometimes it is hard. (She relates her conversations with her friends. I just keep reminding my self some kids don’t love to talk to their mom about anything,)

    1. Kelly L, When my 4th child graduated with our homeschool group..One of the things she said in her speech(she is my baby girl..2 daughters..4sons..) She actually thanked me in her speech for all the nights I listened to her late at night..sitting on my bed. I literally sobbed because I had inwardly groaned about doing this because I get tired!! It was so worth it..My bed still has kids on it late at night sometimes..lol.

  5. My husband and I were just talking about these things last night. We are in the middle of considering a house in the country to further help free us from distractions and focus on the important things in life… Relationships. It takes deliberate action these days to grow the bond of family. Thank you for posting!

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