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Talking, connecting with kids is important
Oct. 19, 2015
by Jenni Sebora

Fall is officially here, and it has been a spectacular start to the season. The weather has been superb – a little crisp in the evening, perfect for a lightweight sweater; lots of sunshine, for a good supply of vitamin D; and perfect weather for bonfires in the evening, and coffee on the porch in the morning.

Our apple trees have produced a bumper crop, and I believe that holds true for area orchards, as well. We’ve enjoyed apple sauce, apple fritter bread, apple crisp, apple cake, apple pie, apples and caramel dip, apples and cheese, and apples in the crock pot with pork roast and potatoes. Yep, we have had our share of apple – you name it.

My students even made apple cider with a fruit press at a local farm. They pressed several quarts one week, and the next week, after it was pasteurized, they were able to sample it.

Walking and/or biking the trails have been fabulous. The air is crisp. The colors are breathtaking. My husband and I have hit the trails quite often this late summer and early fall. The temperatures have been nearly perfect for it. We consider it our date night. We share about our jobs, our children, and places we would like to visit. It is refreshing – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Last Sunday evening, we took a walk on a trail with our middle daughter, who is 15. It was so relaxing, yet so fulfilling, as we talked about everything with our daughter – the weather, school, friends, volleyball, college, the history of our county.

Before we knew it, we had walked about five miles. It is not often one gets individual time with their child – with both parents. It was a treat. Spending that time with a son or daughter really is a time to connect, in what usually are such busy times.

A few evenings ago, my son called from college. We have not seen him since we dropped him off at college in mid-August, but we talk and connect weekly.

When he called, we were all home watching football on television, so we were all together – my husband, our two daughters, me, and our son on the speaker phone. We talked and laughed collectively for an hour – and we even shut off the Green Bay Packers.

Our son wanted to know how school and volleyball was going for his two sisters, so we talked about that.

We wanted to know how school, band, volleyball, and college life were going for him. We talked about the paper he just wrote, the professors he really likes, the soccer game he went to, and the band concert that he played at. We talked and talked, all of us. It was the best hour spent.

Connecting with children is vitally important. Talking and sharing, even about what may seem trivial, is not trivial. It is a way to connect with them. It is a way to let them know that what they say matters. Asking their opinions on topics is important, allowing them to know that how they feel is valued and their opinion matters.

Our son is off to college and is absolutely enjoying it, and that is what we want, but he knows that we are here for him.

When he got a paper back and he excelled on it, he called us to let us know. He knows that we care and that we share in his joys and trials.

He has taken on college full force, really enjoying his classes, participating in discussions, speaking with his professors, meeting new friends, attending different campus events, playing in the band, playing club volleyball, and even taking naps.

He knows that we are here, and that we love him, and as his mama, I can’t wait until the end of October, when he has a week-long fall break, and he is coming home.


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