Every parent has a vision of what the ideal parent looks like. For some it's feeding well-behaved children all organic food and teaching them advanced math. Others idolize never raising their voices to their kids who only have 15 minutes of screen time each week and never play Minecraft.
For me, the ideal is having good communication with my children. As parents, we want our kids to feel comfortable talking with us, telling us their hopes, fears, dreams, ask us for our treasured advice. I know, lofty goals, but still, we try, right?
That's why I was so excited when The Huffington Post asked me to be part of their new video series #TalkToMe. It's where kids can interview their parents, grandparents or other caretakers. My son Logan and I did our video a couple days ago and it was so much fun. The Huffington Post has a list of sample questions, and I had Logan choose three. We turned on the camera, he asked his questions and here was the result:
I've played that video many times, often on silent, just watching my 8 year old, with his hastily drawn mustache, big hair and attentive eyes. I watch it, and I'm awed by all that is him.
I confess, I get caught up in my day-to-day routine and sound more like a drill sergeant than a person you'd like to have a meaningful talk with: Wake up. Eat your breakfast. Put your bowl away. Stop playing with your Legos and get dressed. Did you remember to brush your teeth?
I get frustrated with my kids and I wish that they would do a better job of picking up after themselves, stop complaining about chores, stop complaining about dinner, stop fighting with each other, just a bunch of little nitpicky things that annoy me.
But taking a moment to hit pause on life, and to stand back and really look at my son, it makes me proud, happy and I feel incredibly blessed.
I strongly encourage you to set aside a little time to try the #TalkWithMe with your kids. Our video was less than five minutes, and it's fun to go back and watch it with them later. If you don't want to post it on social media, that's fine, this is a gift for you and your family.
The day after making our video, Logan and I talked about it again and he said he really liked talking with me and he wished he would remember our interview the next time he was mad at me. He said it would remind him that he actually likes his mom.
Yep, he's totally my kid.