Changing Your Grip

8 May

{This post is part of a recurring series of thoughts about building an emotional bridge to your children.}

Parents sharpen their skills by paying attention and looking for an opportunity to express care and appreciation for children through a genuinely heartfelt emotion. This is not rocket science but it does take willingness and discipline. All too often we allow ourselves to feel that our kids owe us; they are taking our time, our money, our attention, and our feelings. Well this is not the most functional jumping off point, our kids are really a gift… a gift to us. They provide an unbelievable opportunity for us to learn how to grow our own capacity to love and care. This learning can serve us for the rest of our lives in other relationships, in rebuilding our own partner connections, and in deepening the commitment with our brothers and sisters. Having children can teach us all this! We just have to be willing to learn. This is not to say that I believe our children are here to teach us. I’ve heard this perspective often and I don’t accept it exactly like that. It is not our children that we are learning from… it is from our effort to love them that we learn. They are the recipient of our efforts and it is in our effort that teaches us, not the child’s ‘teaching’.

Our children grow rapidly and most of us are grateful for this and praise it along the way. However, this fast growth, although completely normal, somehow sneaks up on most of us. They grow out of our grasp sooner than we can change our grip. Changing our grip becomes progressively more difficult as our children grow older and unfortunately many of us just try to grip harder, which rarely works. Practicing our skills early on for changing along with them is crucial and unbelievably important towards establishing a strong emotional bond that can withstand the pressures of the teenage ‘wedge’ that inserts itself between parent and child. We need an emotional bridge welded into place before they take their first trip to boy scouts or swim camp. Get in the water with them early before they leave for camp.

4 Responses to “Changing Your Grip”


  1. Spare the rod and spoil the child?! #Dadchat Recap By @Faryna « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna - May 21, 2012

    […] Changing Your Grip by Scott Hanley […]

  2. #DadChat Tries to Communicate by @Faryna | #Dadchat | A Dad's Point Of View | - May 29, 2012

    […] Changing Your Grip by Scott Hanley […]

  3. Recap: Do you communicate or spam? @BruceSallan @SmartBoyDesigns @chattyprof #DadChat « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna - June 4, 2012

    […] Changing Your Grip by Scott Hanley […]

  4. Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child?! #DadChat Post Script by @Faryna - November 20, 2012

    […] Changing Your Grip by Scott Hanley […]

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