Like many parents, Kathi Lipp desired to be close to her children – a parent they could lean on and confide in through their transition in their adulthood years and as a blended family.
In her new release, 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids (Harvest House Publishers, October 2012), Lipp, who is the author of six other books, offers parental advice on spending time intentionally loving on, caring for, and connecting with your kids through their seasons of growth including those of loss, sadness and disappointment.
Even when parents struggle with feeling disconnected to their children, Lipp adheres to the belief that parents don’t always give themselves enough credit and need to remind themselves that God has given them the ability to meet their child’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
In 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids, Lipp offers simple ideas and activities for parents that will appeal to children of all ages and personalities (expressive, analytical, driving and amiable). She also includes tips for the teenage years (Teen Challenges), ideas for step and blended families (Step It Up) and encouragement for single parents (Suggestions for Singles). Lipp offers a diversity of daily connection ideas that can be done in three weeks including:
- Dinner Together: Make it a priority to sit down and eat a meal together a few times a week. You can nourish your family with food, a good conversation and fun. If you’re struggling as a blended family, keep the dinner table a safe zone. Ask open-ended questions and don’t judge the answers.
- It’s Family Project Time: A great way to get to complete your “to-do” list and have your home run smoothly and teach your kids some new skills while interacting with your kids in a new way: Prepare an emergency kit, hold a garage sale or plant a garden.
- Invest in their Passion: One of the most powerful ways to connect with your kids and strengthen your relationship is becoming passionate about what they are passionate about…passion that includes music, sports, art, fashion, beauty, writing, food or travel.
- Looking for the Positive: We love our kids, but sometimes it’s difficult to think of new ways to encourage them. Lipp offers some suggestions for encouragement…
- Schedule special time with each of your kids
- Tell your child what you notice and love about them…often
- Let your child teach you something
- Invent something new together
- Help them find ways they can share their skills and talents
- Lighten Up
- Get the Conversation Started: Family time is the perfect time to start purposeful conversations and some discussion starters Lipp offers: What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? If you could write a letter to anyone in the world and were guaranteed he or she would write back, who would you write? What would you write? How would your best friend describe you? Who is the funniest person you know? Why is he or she funny?
Other chapters featured in 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids are 10 Ways to Make Your Home a Haven, Build a Legacy, 30 Connecting Activities to Do Outside, Have a Game Night, Love Notes (to make your kids feel cared for and appreciated) and When are We Going to Get There? (activities to do in the car or while traveling).
With honesty and vulnerability, Lipp incorporates the challenges, frustrations and at times the feelings of a failure that she experienced while trying to stay connected with four children through their childhood and adolescent years.
About the Author
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project and has had articles published in several national magazines. She has been a featured guest on countless radio and television programs. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults.
My Take on the Book
I am always looking for way to connect with my children, especially my oldest who is the type of person that needs that additional time with mom and dad. Sometimes I come up blank on creative ideas for this time, but this book provided me with so many new and creative ideas! I loved the flow of the book and how the author is pushing families and parents to share this additional time together, as it is SO important. This is the type of book that parents can read together, discuss and easily implement, which is most important! All-in-all, this is the type of book that will leave you fulfilled and wanting to jump right into implementing the changes into your own life (or at least I know that I was)!
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