I don’t know about you, but this parenting gig is hard work. As a parent, to 2 small kids I feel that I am constantly being stretched between my work commitments, running my Finlee and Me business and blog and the needs of my family. Many of us also have additional tasks that need to be done like the laundry, homework, school lunches and after school activities that it leaves us very little time left in the day to connect with our kids.
In a world where technology is also taking over, combined with the fast-paced nature of day to day events, so many families are becoming more and more disconnected. However, there is no need to sacrifice your relationship with your children if you make the time to invest in them daily, even if it’s just for 15 minutes of quality time per day.
5 Simple Ideas for Connecting with Your Kids
Your kids just want to be with you. They want your undivided attention. They want you to be in the moment with them, off your phone, not multi-tasking and simply to just be with them. In my book 30 days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child I explore a variety of ways you can connect with your child, but today I want to focus on five fast, simple ideas that don’t cost a thing!
Here are my 5 simple ideas for connecting with your kids:
1. Hug Your Kids Every Morning and Every Night: I know some of you may be thinking I already do this and if you do great, but for those whose kids who are getting older it’s quite easy to get out of the habit of hugging your kids every morning and every night. There are so many amazing benefits of hugging your kids: the importance of human touch, this simple interaction may lead into a further conversation and you’re also role modelling to yours kids the importance of routine. Take it one step further and add I love you to the morning and evening hugs. There will be days you aren’t going to be at home in the morning or at bedtime, but you could pick up the phone and ring them, write them a note and leave it on the cupboard or you can send them a text message if they have their own phone. What’s important is you make the time to do this.
2. Play with Your Kids: Ask your kids what they want you to play with them. I know it might be tough to let go and to let them choose the activity, but trust me your kids will love it and your connection will only get stronger. Once they choose the activity, get involved, ask questions, spark imagination, laugh, let your hair down and have fun.
3. Connect with Nature: Being outside and connecting with nature is a great way to unwind, it helps to reduce stress and it will allow you time to connect with your kids. Pick flowers, play cards outside, have a game of hopscotch, go for a bike ride, hop on your scooters, go for a walk, jump in the sprinkler together; the options are endless.
4. Eat Together: Every family must eat, so make eating a time to connect. Shut off all technology and eat at the table. Start a conversation with your kids and ask them about their day, what did they like, what was a struggle during the day, talk about the weekend and any events that might be coming up, tell jokes. Remember you don’t have to have in-depth conversations, the important things are that a) you’re sitting together as a family and b) just chatting will help strength your connection with your child.
5. Create Rituals: Every Saturday night we have movie night together as a family. We pop popcorn, pick out lollies, lay out a picnic blanket in the living room, shut the lights off and watch a movie together. The kids and my husband and I love it knowing that no matter how busy are life gets every Saturday night we’ll be together. Rituals will look different depending on the age of your kids and the interests of your kids and that’s ok. The important part is that you keep up with your rituals at least once a month because this is a great way to connect with your kids in a fun way and positive way.
By connecting with your kids, you are naturally going to strength your relationship with them every single day. And by strengthening your relationship with your kids, they will cooperate more, communicate more, fight less and your home will be a happier place to be. Not to mention, if you start connecting with your kids when they’re younger, you’re providing an opportunity to build a healthy relationship which will help in teenage years and all the way through to adulthood.
What are your ways of connecting with your kids? Let me know in the comments below.
For more from Angela, check out this important post – Grooming of Children: What All Parents Need to Know.
About Angela: Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child, Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website, Finlee and Me.