5 Simple Ways to Connect With Your Child
With every new phase of your child’s life, there are more ways for you to connect with them. Our lives are busy, but they should never be too busy for your kids. These are their most informative years, and they need you alongside them to help them grow and develop into the strong person they will become. Spend intentional time with your kids every day.
- Listen to them: Your children are little humans. They have feelings, thoughts, and experiences all on their own. Ask them questions about their day. Give them a little help in how to answer you by having leading questions. Ask things like, “What made you happy today?” “Did you get angry today?” “What did you learn today?” By giving your child something specific to recall and answer, you’ll get a bigger picture of what they are going through and how to encourage them in their life.
- Play with them: Be silly! Get down on the floor and spend time playing games that they like. When you play with one another, you’ll grow closer together. It’s a bonding time where you can learn more about what they are going through, and give you a better idea on how to guide them. They’ll trust you more, and see that you take out of your day to spend time with them. Quality time is one of the ways that we all show each other love. Your child will feel and know that they are loved with you play with them.
- Read to them: Have a designated time where you read to your kids every day. By reading to your child, they will absorb new information faster. Their minds are little sponges and want to do everything that you do. If you enjoy reading, then they will enjoy reading. You can make it fun by letting them choose which book to read, or you can act out what happens in the story. Do whatever you need to make the words come to life. The more you read to them, the easier school will be when they grow older.
- Engage with them: Find out what their interests are, and learn about them. Show your kids that you are invested in them by learning about what interests them. Watch movies with them about dinosaurs if they love paleontology, or take soccer lessons if they love kicking balls around. Engage with them on what they love, and also engage with your child by physical affection. Hugs and little kisses will tell your kids that you love them. It’s important that they feel loved and accepted for who they as they learn and grow into the person they are going to become.
- Be patient with them: If there are times when they act out, don’t immediately lash out and yell. When you yell, you immediately cut the bond between the both of you. You become the tyrant, and they become the victim in their minds. Take a breath, and have your child go into timeout for both of you to collect your thoughts. Once you are calm, go back and talk about why what happened wasn’t acceptable. Listen to what your child has to say, and respect that they have feelings too. When they feel that they are heard and that their feelings are validated, then they are more likely to have a better experience with the learning lesson. If they learn why they did wrong, then they are better equipped to make better decisions in the future.
Our kids seem to grow up before our eyes. Make every moment count, and enjoy every phase. It won’t last, but you can always cherish the memories. Develop a strong connection with your child at a young age that will carry through to adulthood. As your child grows beside you, they’ll know that they can come to you with any issue and know that you’ll always be there for them. Sooner than later, they’ll be off to college, and you’ll wish you had spent more time together.