Building Memories with Children During Tough Times
As parents, we will do anything to protect our children, but conflict and challenges are a reality. It’s only a matter of time before life makes a complete 180 degree turn and we find ourselves being tested. That test is even harder when children are involved.
I say this because many of the clients I work with have had some sort of falling out with their kids. Any type of abuse is difficult, and many times more so on the children than the victims. Try as you may when you’re in such a predicament, it’s only a matter of time the family dynamic will fall apart, including whatever valuable, cherished relationship you have with the kids.
What I advise clients in such a situation is to start rebuilding simply. Anyone who’s had to restart their lives over again after their family has fallen apart understands that financial problems is among the consequences. It’s tough to leave everything behind and expect your financial situation to remain the same. Just the opposite, many victims who do leave their abusers understand that financial problems is all part of the process of starting over.
Which is why simplicity is key when rebuilding relationships with children. The internet has made it easier to find ways to spend time with children without having to spend a whole bunch of money on entertainment. A quick online search for activities reveals many opportunities to hang out with the kids and still expect quality time both child and parent can enjoy.
For example, many museums offer discount or free days on particular days. Public libraries list community events on their website or in a weekly magazine available to anyone. State park sites provide lists of public pools and weekly concerts available at no charge.
During those times when public activities are unavailable, a simple picnic at a local park does wonders for relationship building. The purpose behind each outing is to spend quality time with the children, without the usual distractions we expect on typical days.
As adults, we don’t spend time remembering every specific detail of a past family outing, only that the parent(s) took the time to spend that day with us. Same goes for our children. The mere fact that a parent took time out of their busy day or made the conscious decision to forget whatever problems they’re having to spend with the kids is all they’re ever going to remember. Slowly, but surely, this simple gesture is all it will take to help rebuild a new relationship with the children.