Too often when I crawl into bed I realize that the day has brought little (if any) emotional connection with my husband.
I might be living and married to this man, but I often wish I had more quality time with him.
I realize I miss him. I miss us.
Busy lives and families
Families today are busier now than ever before. It’s common for both parents to work full-time jobs outside of the home, and many of us report feeling stressed, tired, and rushed (New York Times)*. Whether we’re working inside the house or outside of the house, the busyness of life leaves couples feeling more like friends than intimate partners.
Consider our leisure time. According to my own informal survey, though couples spend time ‘together,’ women often report time spent on electronic devices steals precious time and causes them to feel disconnected from their spouse.
Couples experience shoulder-to-shoulder time, but lack face-to-face time.
Reconnecting with your husband
So, what is one thing you can do when you miss your husband? Incorporate daily ‘couch time’ with your husband.
One Small Win: ‘Couch time’ is 15 minutes of uninterrupted conversation time.
And while ‘couch time’ doesn’t have to be on the couch, choose a place where you can preferably sit across from one another and away from distractions.
Determine the time and place it will take place.
- Right after dinner?
- Before leaving for work?
- Face Time over your lunch break?
- Set your alarm 15 minutes early to chat in bed before getting ready for the day?
- Sit down at the table as soon as you are both home?
And yes, this even goes for those of us with young children! Prime your kiddos for this special time by telling them, “Mom and Dad will be visiting for 15 minutes. When we are done, then we’ll be happy to help.
It doesn’t take long to connect with your husband. It does take intention.
Imagine catching up with your husband about your day. Sitting down and truly listening to each other. Filling your husband in on that funny story or frustrating situation. Talking about the next day and what you each have going on.
Don’t wait. Chat with your husband about couch time today. Plan it, and enjoy your special time together.
* Miller, Claire, C. “Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait Of The Modern Family.” The New York Times. November, 2015. www.nytimes.com. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
Amanda Davison is on a mission to share how her education in counseling and God’s word changed her marriage. She is sure to share personal, laugh-out-loud moments, which are woven with challenging yet inviting perspective change.
As a Speaker and Wife Coach, she tackles topics such as: becoming a confident wife, handling the real frustrations as wives, knowing and owning our high call as wives, and obedience. She wants to hear from you and hopes you will join with her on the journey of learning to love God’s people well. Learn more about Amanda at www.amandadavison.com.
There are all sorts of ways to do it, but here are three ways you can connect with each of your kids.
Take Your Child on a one-on-one vacation. My friend Kim and her husband had long promised their children that when each of them turned sixteen, he or she would go on an extended vacation. The only rule was that it had to be in the continental U.S. and the kids had to help plan the vacation. Kim found out the best part was learning about the unique personalities each child had.
If a whole vacation does not work, try a weekend or even a one night over night. The overnight part is what is fun and makes it special because it is extended time together.
Take Your Child on a regular date night. Justen and I began this tradition when he was about seven years old, and we still do it now that he is out of high school. About once a month, we choose a night to go out on the town, just the two of us. It may be hamburgers at the local burger joint or it may be going to a museum. The point is to do something fun that you will both enjoy and can talk about in the years to come.
GO SMALL (but SIGNIFICANT)
Connect with your child over small but memorable activities. When Kimberly was eight years old, we started sharing a mother-daughter journal. One night I would tuck it under her pillow and the next night she would tuck it under mine. It was a wonderful way to connect and have a little insight into my daughter’s heart. A friend of mine, Angie, still brushes her daughter’s hair at the end of the day and will talk about their days. Her daughter is thirteen! It is a little thing that has become a special part of the day.
Planning this one on one time takes some time, but it will be worth it knowing that you are investing in a lifetime of memories and really connecting with your child. And to help you with more planning, if you comment on this post and let me know some ways you make your child feel special when you are one one one, you may will a copy of 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids.
Spending time outside does not have to just be camping, as much fun as that is, but there are many ways to get the kids outside in the fresh air while spending quality time connecting with your children. Ones that don’t include going to the bathroom in the forest.
Ten Ways to Get Outside and Connect
1. Go for a treasure hunt in your neighborhood. Here’s a short list of things for your kid to look for: a leaf bigger than their hand, a rock smaller than their little toe, and something they can recycle. You can also have them make up the list to keep them interested.
2. Tape a large piece of butcher paper to your fence or outside wall and paint a mural.
3. Sleep outside.
4. Go fishing.
5. Jump rope on a date with your child.
6. Watch a sunset while having a picnic dinner.
7. Wash the car together.
8. String lights in your backyard.
9. Run through the sprinklers.
10. Play cards outside (but not on windy day).
The biggest thing to remember is to prepare for any event that you do. This means everything from planning on what you are going to eat on your picnic to being dressed warmly enough in case it gets windy. Encourage each child to find something in the activity that they connect with. For the expressive child, it might be the beautiful colors. For the athletic child, it might be games you play while running in the sprinkler. Try to connect with each child no matter what way you choose.
How about you? How do you get your kids outside? What are some fun ways you connect with them while outside? Tell me in the comments and you will have a chance to win my book all about connecting called 21 Ways to Connect with Your kids.
Connecting with your child is important to the atmosphere in a home. There are many ways you can connect with your kids. Serving is not only one way, but a commandment from God.
Here are three ways that you can teach your child to serve:
Model service yourself.
This one should be such a no brainer, but often the things we are trying to teach our children are usually areas that we need a little more work on in order to grow our character. Show your children how you are making a meal for the new mom. Let them know that the extra time on the computer was writing a letter to an aunt who is having a hard time. When you take them to a nursing home to play games with the residents, you will be showing that service is important to you and it should be important to them. You will be showing them how ordinary families can do extraordinary things.
Explain to them that serving is not only one action but it is a demonstration of love.
Every time you fill a cup in the name of Jesus, you are showing His love to another person. Explain this to your children. Tell them how He healed the sick and how our families can be like that as far as healing people’s lonely hearts. Tell them that sometimes you plan on serving like going to a homeless shelter and other times God brings unexpected opportunities to serve someone, like an urgent call to watch a neighbor’s child if the mother had to go somewhere.
Reward Them With Praise When They Serve
When you see your child clearing off the table by himself without being asked or you see a note written to a grandparent just because the child wanted to…go gangbusters and tell them over and over how great that is that God prompted them to serve like that! They will be much more likely to want to do it again!
What is one way that you teach your kids to serve? One person who comments will get my book 21 Ways to Connect to Your Kids!