As parents, we all just want to connect with our children better, right? Read on for six great ways to connect with your kids.
The relationship between a parent and their child is unique and wonderful. Getting to watch a child grow and learn and become their own individual is a beautiful experience that, as a parent, you are lucky to get to be a part of.
Whether it be because of time constraints, or your child pulling away, you can often find yourself in a situation where you want to strengthen the relationship you have with your child.
If you are struggling to connect with your child, here are a few methods to try.
Try to make physical contact with your child 12 times a day
The physical connection between you and your child is an important one.
When they are a baby, you are constantly holding and touching them. The older that your child gets, the less you end up connecting with them on a physical basis every day.
Make it a goal to give your child 12 hugs a day. Cuddle while you watch a movie, scratch their back, or give them a kiss. Just making an effort to make those 12 daily hugs a priority will drastically improve the relationship that the two of you have.
If your child is older and rebuffs these efforts, keep in mind that you will have to ease into this physical connection.
Put the screens down
When you are interacting with your child, make sure that your phone is put away.
Let them know that they have your attention and that they are what is most important, not your phone. Even if you’re just cuddling and watching a movie together, try not to have your phone out at the same time.
If you have to put it in another room to make it work, do it.
Memories are made when you play and laugh with your child.
Playing helps your child learn to cooperate, and laughter will help them let go of anxieties and those feelings or emotions that are holding them back.
You can make even ordinary daily activities a game. Make things fun, and encourage that fun multiple times a day.
Don’t underestimate the power of one on one time
Even if it is just 15 minutes a day, pencil in time to spend time alone with your child.
In a busy day, it’s hard to set that time aside. Even if it’s just time while the two of you are driving together, or it’s reading books together before bed.
Try to make it a priority to spend time outside of the house together, and have an outing at least once a month where it is just the two of you.
If you have more than one child, have a different outing planned for each child, so they are able to get the undivided attention from you that they need to nurture the relationship you have.
Expressing emotion is important, and you want to cultivate that.
If your child is upset, let them express it. It’s often hard to let your child be upset, because we want them to be happy, or their tantrum is happening at an inconvenient time. Help your child heal those upsets, and let them face those emotions.
There is a lot of trust involved when your child lets themselves be sad with you. And that is important. Offer an understanding of the pain and hurt that they are feeling. Tell them that it is okay to feel that way.
We often rush through everything.
With a jam packed schedule, it’s easy to rush your child to their next task, or shoo them away so you can finish what you’re working on.
Every interaction that you have with your child is an opportunity to connect, so don’t take them all for granted.
Force yourself to slow down, not even just for the sake of your child. But for yourself, as well.
Do they want to touch every strawberry before putting it into the smoothie? Let them.
Do they want to stop to smell flowers, pick up rocks, or look at an ant on the porch? Let them.
Slow down. Appreciate these things with your child, and acknowledge these slow moments that help the two of you connect.