(this is life with Harris- he's usually upside down!)
He's still a loving child (most of the time!) but at 9 I've definitely noticed that he usually prefers his Dad to me. Bryce is the first one that he asks to go outside and throw a ball, to read to him, to ask a question of, etc. Also, the hand holding doesn't usually happen in public any more. It's made me a bit sad but I've decided to try to do something about it instead of feeling left out. First of all, I think it's great that he connects so much with his Dad and I know that it's important and necessary, but I also think I've contributed to it. I got in the habit of saying, "Go ask your Dad" or "Maybe later I'll play" and I think I said it so many times that he just stopped asking. So my goal this spring is to get out there, stretch myself a little more and learn to throw a ball! I've realized that as a Mom to a son the only way I'm really going to keep a strong connection is to show interests in those things that interest him even when they don't hold much interest to me or are out of my comfort zone. For me this is going to mean working harder to be involved in what the children are interested in doing (hiking, sports, music, etc.) instead of letting it always be a "Dad thing."
Harris is not always a big sharer of information, after school we will often get the "fine" answer to the "how was school today" question. I'm trying to do better about asking more specific questions and then being 100% attentive when he answers instead of trying to multi- task (which I'm really not very good at doing!).
Also, Bryce and I have inadvertently gotten in the habit of doing gender specific things with the children! I take Grace to ballet and he takes to baseball. Bryce learns what computer games the children are playing while I... don't. Some of this is just the way things work best for us, but I think we could do better and mix it up a bit more.
Tell me, how do you keep a strong relationship with your children?