Fredericksburg Parent

February 2018

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6 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2018 PUBLISHER Leigh Anne Van Doren Tabitha & Jamie Nelle's mom EDITOR Chris Jones Quincy, Hayden & Olive's dad BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING Heidi DiEugenio, President, HD Solutions Duke & Dane's mom MEDIA & ADVERTISING DIRECTORS Julie Brosnan, twins Chris & Finn's mom Megan Walsh, Mia, Noelle, and Adelaide's mom DESIGN & PRODUCTION Cheryl Carter, President, Carter Creations Alex, Kate & Jackie's mom WEBMASTER Karen Charney Joshua & Spencer's mom SOCIAL MEDIA Brenda Sapanghila Archer, Maddox & Oliver's mom CALENDAR & COOL THINGS TO DO ELETTER Leigha Pecher Jake and Luke's mom EDUCATION ELETTER & EVENTS Debra Caffrey Aidan's mom INTERN Haley J Harkin parent fredericksburg & family Entrepreneur of the Year PROUD FOUNDING MEMBER ADVERTISING PHONE 540-429-3572 EMAIL CALENDAR & SOCIAL MEDIA E-MAIL EDITORIAL PHONE 540-429-3572 E-MAIL SNAIL MAIL P.O. Box 7884, Fred'bg, VA 22404 The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertisement, editorial or listing that does not meet the publication's standards. No part of this magazine may be reproduced with out permission. Listing and advertising rates are available upon request. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information con- tained herein, however, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Listings and advertisements are sub- ject to typographical errors, ommissions and/or change without notice. For terms and conditions please visit our website at © Copyright 2018 Nurture, Inc. All rights reserved. WRITTEN BY CHRIS JONES LIKE FredericksburgParent SIGN UP TWEET FredericksburgParent PIN fredparent FOLLOW @fredparentmagazine In 2004 as I was having my annual New Year's Day breakfast at IHOP with my friend, Chris, the topic of parenting entered into our discussion of annual goals for the year. I gleefully shared with him how I wanted to do this and do that with my kids and take them here and take them there. Chris listened with a smile on his face as he always did, sipping his coffee and nibbling off of his stack of hotcakes. He commended me how much I loved my kids and for wanting to do and experience more things with them. As I took in a mouthful of French toast, he shared his goals with me—and I wanted to drop my fork. "CJ," he said in his teacherly tone, "I just want to touch my kids every day. They're such a blessing and I see how different they are when I touch them." I stopped chewing and my eyes widened as I began to replay every interaction I could recall with my parents where my grandmother, grandfather or other adults in my life imparted some degree of physical touch in a way I received as loving (I had some not so pleasant memories of touch when I got out of line!). I remembered being 5 years old crawling into my grandparents' king-size bed and snuggling up with my grandmother while she watched 60 Minutes and Murder She Wrote on Sunday nights. I recalled being 9 years old and my uncles extending their hands to give fives while laughing out loud when I said something witty to taunt the other men rooting for the Miami Dolphins during Super Bowl XIX. I thought about how much that fed my masculinity and gave me a sense of belonging. I remembered being 14 years old and, after getting called out trying to steal home plate, feeling my grandfather's arm over my shoulder as I fought back tears after losing a baseball game. In each instance, physical touch transferred love and kinship from the adults in my life to me. It made it easier for me as grew into my teen years to be open with them because I did feel con- nected. It makes it easy for me today to maintain those bonds. Ever since that day over 15 years ago, I have embedded that lesson from Chris into my character. I touch my kids every day that I am available to do so. From head rubs and high fives to wrestling on the floor and cuddling to watch YouTube K ids videos together on my iPhone, I want my kids to feel the words I say so often—I love you. And there is a difference in my children when I am more affectionate. They don't act out of obligation, they respond out of love. While I'm sure you've set your goals for 2018 and they are either off and running, or you're trying to figure out how to get refocused, I challenge you to add this one simple action into your parent- ing repertoire. Not just for their hearts, but yours. A Different Type of Hands-On Parenting letter to the readers

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