Sometimes I wonder if that’s the response that Adam got from Cain when he asked him throughout his life, “So how was your day, son?” I can almost see in my mind Abraham, at over 100 years old, walking into the tent, laying down his cane, and saying the same thing to Isaac, “So, my boy, my great hope, my promise from God… How was your day?”
It’s the tried and true answer that kids give when they don’t really want to talk about how their day was; something to get their parents off their back so they can go back to the Wii, or the coloring, or the whatever. It’s also the answer that simultaneously infuriates and saddens moms and dads who want to have real interaction with their children that they haven’t seen sometimes for several hours.
I don’t like the answer. I’m not okay with the answer. There has to be more to it than that. In the answer, I feel the waning influence over my children; the reality that over time I will become less and less the main influence in their lives is acutely apparent. We’ve got to push passed the mere “fine” and into the details. But how do you do so with patience and love? Here are a couple of hints that seem to be effective (at least 10% of the time) with our kids who are now age 8, 5, and 2.
Read the whole thing, where he offers five suggestions: (1) Show respect; (2) Establish a regular time and place; (3) Get creative; (4) Be specific; (5) Have fun.