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Home » Advice and Tips

Bonding with your Children through your Passions

Submitted by on Tuesday, 21 June 2011One Comment

We are pleased to have a guest Jammer with us today at The Dad Jam. Our good friend Cyrus from FatherGeek.com jams with us today about bonding with your children through your passions. Enjoy!

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Some parents and children have difficulty expressing their love.

Holding hands, wrestling, and talking might be a great struggle for some. It depends on how they were raised, how they interpret the value of their relationships with others, who they are as individuals, and their temperament.

Not all families or relationships are created equal. Most people have a passion for “something.” This could be fly fishing, video games, music, sports, cooking, or computers. It is that one thing in their life that they feel most comfortable focusing on and greatly enjoy. We call them “hobbies” – but they are also a potential medium upon which relationships can be built and strengthened.

Let us suppose for a moment that a father is not comfortable with physical displays of affection with his son. How could he show his child that he loves him? If the father is passionate about model making, he could start a model project with his son, working close with him. Through the activity which is the medium of the father’s passion, both father and son get to share an intimate moment working closely together and learning from each other.

From the father comes the lesson, and from the son comes the value. Add the two together and what do you have? Quality time with long lasting benefits.

But this works in reverse, too. Let us suppose that a mother wants to reach out to her daughter who has recently grown distant. The relationship between the mother and daughter has become strained by the daughter showing an ever-growing need for independence. The mother, not knowing it, has resisted this change which has created tension and is slowly dividing them. Clearly, something must be done as the road currently being traveled will lead to hardship. Where the father was unable to connect to his son on an intimate level he felt comfortable with, the mother is unable to achieve any intimate level because of the daughter’s resistance.

The roles are reversed, but the solution is the same – common ground can once again be found and claimed through a shared passion.

As it happens, many a mother and daughter have spent hours scrap booking in the past. The mother approaches the daughter one evening with a new project that they can work on together. The mother wants the daughter to lead the design, the crafting decisions, and the direction. All semblances of authority and leadership are given to the daughter. This is a refreshing role reversal and a clear head nod from the parental figure that the child is more than capable and responsible.

The next day, the mother and daughter go to the craft store, buy the materials, and that evening they are laughing, sharing memories, and reconnecting. Where once there was friction and discord is now harmony and happiness through a medium for which both parties are passionate and to which they can relate.

Father and son, mother and daughter. Their stories are different but the outcome the same. Through sharing their passions they find a way to connect and grow.

The next time you feel you are not connecting with your child or are having difficulty finding a comfortable way of expressing your genuine interest in them, ask yourself what you or your children are passionate about and then do that together. Play on the ground, go on a hiking trip, read a book together, or just “hang out.” The most difficult part of parenting is being OK with the fact that you don’t know everything, will make mistakes, and are hardly an “expert.”

Take comfort in that we are all alone in this together and that no one has all the answers. The common threads that can be found between individuals should be cherished and used to their fullest. It is a simple truth that will reward all involved. Go forth and love your kids by doing what you, and they, love most.

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Thank you Cyrus! To read more from FatherGeek, head over to FatherGeek.com now.

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