Being a parent comes with many different responsibilities and challenges, so many that the journey often feels like a whirlwind of time-consuming chores and stress.
Raising your child properly means making sure they are well-fed, well-dressed, well-sheltered, attending school, learning the basics of life, being educated in behavior, following routines and schedules…
Basically, it’s a lot.
But tricky as it may be, you still have to make time to enjoy time with your child, and connect with them.
One of the most important things you must do as a parent is to make sure your child is happy and that they feel safe and comfortable, and above all, loved. They need to feel heard and seen so that they know that they matter.
Fulfilling their emotional needs will help them grow and thrive and, at the same time, it creates a strong bond between you and your child so that you can share the journey of life and feel close.
But, amongst all the responsibilities and challenges…how can you make sure you are connecting with your child?
Sometimes it’s as easy as making sure you spend a little time with them or getting into the habit of performing certain tasks together or small little daily details that can go a long way.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways in which you can connect with your child. Let’s get right into it!
Top 10 Ways For Connecting With Your Child
Here are our 10 favorite simple ways of connecting with your child, so that you can strengthen your bond and feel closer than ever!
Be Silly And Laugh With Them
Laughter is also referred to as medicine for the soul, and it truly is. Laughing can actually improve your health and help you live longer, not to mention that it puts you in a good mood.
Being silly, joking around, and laughing with your child, is super important. It shows them that you’re fun, and willing to play around with them and that you can create happiness out of any situation when you’re together.
So when you’re with your child, be funny on purpose now and then, act the clown for a bit, and laugh until you’re both in stitches. Trust us, this creates a bond like no other!
Do you remember when your child was a baby, and you basically carried them in your arms all the time, so that they were constantly snuggled up to you, comfortable in the warmth and safety?
Well, that doesn’t have to stop! Sure, you can’t carry them around like a baby anymore, but you can still have plenty of snuggles.
It’s important to spend time every day snuggling up and getting comfy on the sofa or bed together, so that you physically feel close, and can connect.
Whether it’s at the end of a long day while watching a movie on the sofa while reading a book in bed, or to offer comfort after a difficult situation, snuggling up leads to a better connection, and a stronger bond.
Listen To Them When They Talk
Do you know what can really help you connect with your child? Making sure they feel heard and seen, giving them your undivided attention, and listening to them when they talk to you.
Whether they’re trying to communicate with you about something important, or they’re rambling about what they did in school, put everything down, look them in the eye, and show that you are interested and listening.
This will make them feel like you care, and like they can go to you to talk about things so that they grow up wanting to tell you about their life!
Create Small Moments Of Quality Time
Quality time is all about making your child feel special, loved, and wanted. It’s about doing something with them that they love, and making sure they know that they matter to you.
It can be hard to schedule quality time every day, especially during the week when you’re busy with a million different things. But quality time doesn’t always have to be a grand trip or a super cool activity.
You can create small moments of quality time in your everyday life, in which it’s just you and your child, one-on-one, working together or enjoying something together. It could even be daily chores, such as washing the dishes, or baking dessert.
As long as it’s one-on-one time, your child will feel connected to you.
Offer Support For Their Emotions, Unconditionally
Connecting with your child is all about building up a bridge of trust and understanding so that they know that you’re there when they need you, and so that they feel loved and accepted.
A big part of this is allowing your child to trust you with their emotions, no matter what they are.
If they are sad, or angry, or excited, they should be able to come to you, and receive the right type of emotional support, given unconditionally and without question.
This can be tougher when the emotions lead to bad behavior, such as tantrums. But it’s important to show your child that you’re still there for them, no matter what, and that their emotions are completely valid.
Have A Daily Count Of Hugs (Physical Affection Is Important!)
Physical affection is one of the best ways to bring people closer together, as it strengthens the bond that you have, and allows you to connect on a deeper level.
Something as simple as a hug can go a very long way, as it shows that you are present, willing to provide love, and in their life as a strong and significant bond.
A good idea is to have a saying or a poster in the house, such as “we need 6 hugs a day for maintenance” or “hugs give us energy!”.
Something to encourage the habit of hugging within the home, so that hugs happen often and naturally, creating an environment of love, care, and physical closeness.
Put Them First (Block Out Interruptions)
If you’re spending time with your child, and suddenly something comes up that makes you cut your time with them short, the likelihood is that your child is going to feel discarded, and unimportant.
Unless it’s a real emergency that truly needs your immediate attention, you should push any interruptions away, and make it clear that right at that moment, you are occupied spending time with your child, and that you will deal with the issue later.
This will help your child feel like they are being prioritized by you, reinforcing the connection and reassuring them of your love and care.
To help yourself with this, we recommend you switch off work phones outside of work hours, and that you shut out the outside world when you’re spending quality time with your child.
Show Up To Important Moments And Events
This goes without saying, but if you want to connect with your child, you have to show them that you care about them, their life, and the things that they love.
If they have a show at school? Make sure you’re there, front row, ready to cheer them on. Do they have a sports game? Again, be there, be present.
It can be hard to attend every single time, but as long as you make it clear that you’re always going to try and be there when you can, or at the very least you will ask them about it because you really want to know, then they will feel seen by you and they’ll be willing to share more of their hobbies with you.
Play With Them On Their Terms
Playing with your child is essential in building up a strong connection and bond with them. Ask them what kind of games they like to play, and adapt to what they feel like doing.
Does your child want to create a tea party with toys? Do it. Do they want to play superheroes? Do it. And enjoy it too!
Let Them Parent You
As the parent, you’re the one constantly guiding, teaching, and offering advice. Now and then, let the roles be reversed. Ask your child for advice, let them guide you. This will make them feel capable and will show that you trust them.
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