January 10, 2007

Messages of Love: Make it (part 2)

Moms and Dads Can Make a Variety of Things!

A Mom Builds a Car with a Son

One day I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned and the lady technician recognized me as the person teaching parenting classes so she asked me, “I have a fourteen year old son who is becoming very interested in cars and I was wondering what you would think about me buying a car for us to restore?”

My reply was, “What a great idea! You will never be sorry that you did it!”
Every six months I would receive an update on the car and the mother/son relationship. It was really something to marvel at. The technician would give me an update every time I went in for my six-month tooth cleaning. They bought a 65 Mustang. They took the body off and began restoring it from the frame up. They finished it just in time for the son to drive when he got his driver’s license. She told me he was so protective of the car that she was really assured that he would drive carefully.

I was amazed at what I heard over the next couple of years. This car became a bonding agent between mother and son. They would go to swap meets together to look for parts. They would attend rod runs with other Mustang owners. They went to Hot August Nights in Las Vegas to hang out with other hot rod enthusiasts! They spent hours together just because they had a common interest.

Where could you find a common interest with your children? It sure seems that one of the keys to developing such an interest is to start early. I doubt that the dental technician would have found her son to be so patient in restoring the Mustang if she had waited until he already had a driver’s license.

Moms can build cars and dads can build dollhouses! The key here is relationship building. It takes time but it surely is meaningful time. The conversation that results over a common interest is not forced. It is natural and spontaneous. The thing that results is a relationship that is natural and easy. The dental technician said that she had the greatest conversations with her son while working on their car. She said that one night she was laying under the car with her son attempting to put the transmission in and all of a sudden her son looked over and asked her, “Mom, when I am on a date with a girl is it ok to… ?” and he asked her the most personal question. He would never have asked if they had not had the relationship built around the car. The place that he felt relaxed and confident enough to ask the question was under their car.

Pick some ways that you can make something with your children. The outcome will be a relationship!

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