I used to think when my kids were small-that it would be difficult to maintain attachment in their teen years. I had some ideas of what their teen years would be like based on my own disconnected and dysfunctional childhood. After flying to Philly and going through reattachment through orgonomy when they were small- I promised myself that I would work hard at staying in contact with my kids. Last night my daughter took an interesting picture- I was sitting on the couch singing some French songs to my kids and my 15 year old fell asleep in my lap. I looked at the picture and thought-“what a rarity, to capture this moment.” Especially because this is my son who used to be autistic, this was a child that could stand to be touched or have anything touching his body.
I don’t know how the attachment happens, because it seems so natural, but at night when I read stories to my ten year old-the older children just come and sit down or hang out around us….eventually sitting down. I make a conscious effort to reach out and touch them-give them a little rub on the head or a massage on the shoulders or even just a caress on the arm. I never used to be a very touchy person and the fact that I have been able to overcome this-in a true and unartificial sense- is a significant triumph for me. I have found- a kiss when they wake up, a smile from across the room and a reassuring squeeze on the arm when they walk by is very effective. Being able to sing a 15 year old to sleep, might be difficult for some, or not possible- but reaching out to love our children- directly and boldy every day, must be a priority and conscious decision we make. This is for their health, their happiness and their self worth- they build their lives on our love. This helps them overcome difficulties in school and gives them a solid foundation.
I hope this inspires you to reach out and touch your teens!
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