"Mommy! Grown Girl! Privacy!"
These and others are some of the very words that makes me CONNECT with my son. And what better way to connect with your child then by using the very words they use to communicate and show their affection with you and for you?
As a Mother of an eight year old, active, funny, talented boy, I am always hearing these words and a bunch of other funny, warm and lovely terms that my little one magically thinks of and I run to my journal and write them down because Mommy's short term memory, in the middle of all my endless Mommy tasks, is really short nowadays! However, I realized over time (Eight years to be exact) these friendly, wholeheartedly, welcoming words connect my son to me like a magnet to a refrigerator. As a matter of fact, I listen out for them and I feel I have created a small glossary of my child's words. Priceless.
So, for your reading pleasure, here is a list of words, terms, phrases, ideas or whatever you want to call them that connect me and my son to our wonderfully, funny, rewarding and intense relationship there will ever be:
"Grown Girl" Mommy is a Grown Girl when she's enjoying gummy bears and trick-a-treating in the cold. She's a Grown girl because I am an adult, but doing child-like tasks like eating lots of candy and acting silly for her child. So, on many festive occasions, Mommy is a "Grown Girl" I love this term and find myself using it with my husband when I want him to treat me like a Grown Girl and take me out for some Grown Girl fun! hehehehehehe.
"Adult Juice " Come on, Grown Girls, out there, you can figure this one out! Yes, any alcoholic drink out there that is drank at home on special occasions or gatherings responsibly. Here comes my little one looking at my glass of Merlot and innocently says, "Oh, you are having adult juice, Mommy and Daddy...does it taste like Grapes? When can I have adult juice?" And very authoritatively, I answer "When you are 25!" Confused, he replies, "But, wait, Grown Girl, you said 21, last month when I asked you?" Ah, gotta love Mommy's short term memory.
"Privacy " This is used, a lot for very obvious reasons, when you have a growing son who has to use the same bathroom you are using or you don't hear him in his room for long periods of time and you wonder "Why is he so quiet in there?" And it's used interchangeably, of course. I use it and he uses it. For example, just the other day, I knock on his room door and of course I open it and he's like "MOMMY! COME ON...PRIVACY...PRIVACY!" As he's changing his sweats pants into his football pants. "Privacy, please!"
"Adult Words " Ah, this one is key. My smart little man knows that some words are not appropriate for his little ears and not appropriate for us Grown Girls mouths, as well, but on occasion he may hear words that he understands and has been taught are not child appropriate, but unfortunately, is a part of life. One day my boy hears the 'D' word, and he is very much aware that that word is not appropriate for use in our household, so he instantly opens his big brown eyes and shakes his head at me and says, "Uh-oh, Mommy, you Grown ups and your adult words...bad...not good...Can't they just use another word like--- Oops!" My Mommy pride soared. Connection.
Moral of the story is that in order to connect with your child you need to be responsive and attentive to what they say to you and for us as 'Grown Girls' and 'Grown Boys' to pay attention. They have so much to discover, uncover and learn, from us, that the more we do listen and learn from them the more they will communicate with you and as a parent that's half the work.
He may be only eight today, but one day he'll be twenty-eight drinking adult juice asking and giving his little boy or girl privacy and hopefully not saying too many adult words and he will connect with his family.
So, what are your favorite "connecting" words with your child? How is your child connecting with you and how can you make your connection stronger with them every day?
Listen and capture them. It makes them feel special and the best thing you want as a parent is for that child to know that you are there for them.