Sometimes it takes another voice to say the same things you are saying to your kid(s) about the most important things in life—just in a different way. That’s what we call “widening the circle.”
Pursuing strategic relationships for your kids takes a little bit of intentionality, but it can be as easy as 1-2-3: acknowledging who’s already there, inviting other people in, and encouraging them along the way. Let’s get started!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO’S ALREADY THERE
Think through family members, babysitters, teachers, coaches, instructors, friends’ parents, Small Group Leaders, employers. Who are the people who already have influence in your child’s life?
Ask yourself this question: If my child won’t/can’t talk with me about something (it happens), which adult in their lives would they go to that represents our same family values? If you have middle or high schoolers, ask them whom they would go to.)
INVITE OTHERS INTO YOUR CIRCLE
Think about additional people to add to your support system. Inviting someone to be in your circle is as simple as inviting them to be part of your family’s life. Start with a list of people you admire or want to get to know better. Then be bold and make the first move. Here are a couple of ways to get started:
- Have a family game night and invite a few people you want to get to know.
- Volunteer in your child’s classroom and build rapport with their teachers.
- Invite a college student or your child’s Small Group Leader to dinner.
- Volunteer to help with your child’s sports team.
Who are you going to invite?
ENCOURAGE THOSE IN YOUR CIRCLE
Now it’s time to appreciate and invest in the people in your circle.
- Ask a trusted babysitter to attend your child’s game, concert, or play.
- Ask someone with a skill your child wants to learn to teach them something about it.
- FaceTime out-of-town grandparents once a week.
- Saying “I’m truly thankful for you” goes a long way. So does a Starbucks gift card or making their favorite baked good!
- Encourage them with words like: “How can I pray for you?” “How can I make this relationship easier for you?” “Is there anything I can do to support you better?”
- Invite them into your home for coffee or dinner and build a family relationship.
What’s one thing you can do to support or encourage each person in your child’s circle?
For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.