So in previous posts I have discussed the importance of one on one quality time with your child. Quality time meaning no interruptions via TV, Ipads, Iphones, video games, and other technological distractions. In this post I will discuss my past Sunday cooking spinach lasagna with my 5 year-old daughter and adding some risk taking to the recipe. She was more than an eager participant and her enthusiasm just made me more excited to pour our love into the lasagna. We first identified the ingredients that we would need for our 2-hour foray into a complex dish. I asked her to help me measure the Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses. She agreed to crack the eggs for the cheese mixture and adding salt, pepper, oregano, and then stirred with all her might to make a creamy cheesy filling for the pasta. She helped me place the pasta sauce in the pan and then lay the lasagna noodles flat so that we could commence spreading the various layers of the cheese mixture, spinach leaves, and pepperoni slices one on top of the other. Once we put the lasagna in the oven to cook for 60 minutes we prepared toasts with butter and a spinach, tomato, olive oil side salad. She also took the risk of cutting the Roma tomatoes for the salad. My emphasis in being so detailed about this process with my daughter is that as fathers we need to not only make quality time with our kids but also push them to take risks (in this case slicing tomatoes, cracking eggs, etc.) even if they don’t seem like risks to us as adults. I noticed how excited she was when she cracked open the eggs into the cheese mixture, instead of just watching me do it. I believe our relationship grows each day but this past Sunday our work together helped create the right conditions for her to continue believing in herself and concentrated moments of happiness for our respective memory banks. What activities do you think you can begin integrating in your daily and weekly time with your kids? If you are into cars, hiking, playing basketball, theater, singing, dancing, writing, reading, whatever the activity is make sure to push your child to take risks within that activity as you do it together.
And always remember to tell your child the following each day:
- Believe in yourself
- You were born for special reasons
- Look for ways to help others today
- Your primary purpose is to discover what your unique talents are (that no one else in the world has)
If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog. Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 5.