Finley Robinson

Family Friday: Do 2 Things For Twenty Years

published5 days ago
2 min read

Happy Friday 👋🏼 as my family and I are headed out for Spring Break!

Today's story takes 1.5 minutes to read.

Look Back: This is my 50th Family Friday email to write and share with parents like you. It's been a privilege to have you reading along with me. If you ever want to read past editions, here is the full catalog.

In The Vicinity

If there was an almost foolproof way to build closeness to your son or daughter, would you want to know about it?

Simple parenting concepts are never totally universal, but this one is close. If you start doing this when your kids are young, you should never stop. It will shift a bit over the years, but it never runs out ... it truthfully goes all the way into adulthood.

Moms and Dads can both do this and it'll look different, which is good.

Sons need your hands.
Daughters need your hearts.

Boys and girls are unique and perceive closeness in different ways. They are consistent throughout their development years though.

  • Boys need physical affection ... even if they don't know it.
  • Girls need emotional affection ... and they definitely know it.

Being aware and demonstrating that you are in the vicinity of their everyday lives is an act of kindness and grace.

Keep your hands on your sons.

It is natural to spend less time physically engaging your son as he gets older. I believe parents should fight against this tendency.

Wrestling or snuggling when he is younger should turn into ... grappling or hugging as he gets older. There may be more noises or grunts but the physicality means every bit as much.

If you need to tell him something serious, hand on the shoulder.
If you are proud of how he handled himself, hand on the face.
If you know he is sad or lonely, a longer hug is good.
If you are celebrating, give a massive embrace.
If you pass by him, a short pat on the back.

Not every family is an overly affectionate one. Be who you are. Every time you touch your son, though, he recognizes hands as closeness.

Keep your hearts near your daughters.

Knowing and acknowledging whatever the latest interest your daughter has communicates so many things her.

Growing up over the years, girls go through a ton of phases. What was important to her at 6 no longer matters by age 8. It changes that fast and is normal. Staying sympathetic to her along the way is meaningful.

When she wants you to check out her latest artwork, ooh and ahh.
When she is ready for you to teach her to ride a bike, say yes.
When she finds a fun new show to stream, sit and watch.
When she competes with her team, be there.
When she is crying, sit and listen.

Recognizing what your daughter's heart is drawn to at each phase and showing interest is how you stay in her vicinity. You'll like some phases more than others, but don't fake it! Keep your hearts close together.

Hands on your Sons.
Hearts near your Daughters.

I remember an older parent shared this with me when our kids were younger. It has held up as a solid practice for almost 20 years now.

Building these patterns will always communicate to your kids that you care about being in their vicinity!

Tough But True

Jeremy Pryor

A parent is our Creator's plan for teaching children delayed gratification.

One of the gifts you can give your kids is to be a brick wall in a few carefully chosen areas of their life.

Love includes helping our kids learn to deal with the storm of emotions that come when no means no.

The 3-Part Family Framework

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