As I walk down the aisles full of hearts and candy at the grocery store during this time of year, I am often shocked I need an entire holiday to be reminded to slow down to love my family! Relationships with our family are the most important bonds in our lives. Our children’s primary relationships happen not at preschool, but in our homes. Why is this? My children spend lots of hours in Preschool and school! Why are the caregivers and teachers not the most powerful?
This isn’t the way humans work. The science is clear and well established in this area of study. We first bond in our homes as babies and young children. We are comforted and our needs are met first at home. This makes the family unit the most important. Our basic needs must be met, we must feel safe and loved, and only then can we grow socially, emotionally, and cognitively. When these bonds and relationships suffer, we struggle in all aspects of life.
Now, this does not mean these relationships must be perfect. That is not what I am getting at here. I am nowhere near the perfect parent, and I have not met a perfect family yet. It doesn’t exist. So, get that thought process out of your head as it will make you crazy! So, now what?
Next Steps for Families
It’s time to slow down. We can’t wait for a holiday to slow us down. And we must spend time in relationship with our family. We must date our spouse (or significant other) because the relationship between the adults is the model for the children. In this busy world, we need to schedule time with our children to read, sing, laugh, play, and enjoy one another’s company. We must spend time with our loved one’s eyeball to eyeball (not just be in the room with them).
Easier said than done, right? Schedule dates and time with that wonderful family of yours! Put it on the family calendar. Put it in Outlook. Schedule a game night once a month, make Sunday afternoon sacred family time. Start somewhere, anywhere. It’s never too late to adjust your routine and it’s never to late to prioritize quality time with your family.
The research also shows us that it is NOT about quantity; it is the quality of our relationships that are critical. Connection is key. Conversation is important. Moreover, talk to your children. Ask questions, introduce new ideas and enjoy the wonderful view of life they have. Listen to their stories. This goes for the little ones, too. Ask questions and wait for the babbling response. You will be surprised and reconnected with your family through these experiences together.
Relationships and Preschool
Relationships are so important to learning, so how does all that time at Preschool fit in? Preschool will support and expand on children’s learning. Preschool will introduce new ideas and concepts. Furthermore, Preschool and a teacher’s role are to encourage, assist and be an extension of our families. Families will always remain our children’s first teachers.
My hope for all our busy families is to spend time in relationship each day. Let’s keep getting better at this together!