We often get told by parents that they connect with their children by buying them toys, taking them to the park, watching movies, or even taking them to eat.
While children enjoy all of these activities, it might not be the best way to connect. Truly connecting with your children means engaging with them on a personal level via play, projects, and conversations. To do this, you must go beyond parental duties and make the effort to understand the emotional aspects of your children.
Connecting with your children establishes trust. It shows them that you can take the time to communicate and understand them at their level, which might make them more inclined to share things with you. When your children feel connected to you, they trust that you have their best interest at heart and can guide them to success.
Here Are 10 Ways To Connect With Your Children:
1.Find A Shared Hobby Or Sport
A great way to build a relationship with your children is to spend time with them doing something you both enjoy. It sends a message to your children that their parents are having real fun with them. It can be extremely validating for them to you that you are enjoying yourself in their company.
Sharing an interest with your children also sets an example that it is ok to try new things - and not be the best from the start. Maybe you are trying to learn a new instrument, chances are you will not get it right on the first try. This is an opportunity to show your children that mistakes happen and they are a part of learning and life.
2.Cuddle And Chat Together
You may find it difficult to keep your children engaged for a whole day, as they are usually prone to boredom. Instead of going out or spending a ton of money, you can simply cuddle and chat. Quality time is a great way to keep your children engaged in a leisurely way free from the demands of work. Most importantly, cuddling communicates love. When you give your children physical affection, you are telling them that they are accepted and valued.
While children do need time to play alone and with other children, playing with parents is also beneficial. Children enjoy time with their parents. It makes them feel special and loved. This can include one on one time with each parent and child, or getting the whole family involved. There are plenty of possibilities for playtime. You can try:
Board games and puzzles
Playing games with your children can teach them valuable skills like patience, problem solving, social skills, and creativity. Playing with your children builds bonds that last forever, opens the door for sharing problems as they arise, and helps parents get to know the uniqueness of their children.
4.Get Creative With Art
Doing arts and crafts projects with your children is a great way to spend quality time with them. While their hands are busy crafting, children may open up and talk about whatever comes to mind. You can also use this time to ask them questions about their lives. Maybe you want to know more about their time at school or their friends.
While crafting is a great bonding activity, it is also beneficial for children’s development. Art projects help fine-tune motor skills, teaches focus, enhances problem-solving skills. Children will also benefit from doing art projects because they can use their imagination to its fullest extent.
5.Have A Self-Care Spa Day
As your children grow up, they will only get busier, which will decrease the amount of time they have to interact with you. This is why it is important to teach your children about self-care. By having a fun-filled, relaxing day with you, your children can be taught to create healthy habits that will support them through adulthood.
6.Read A Book Or Tell Stories
Telling stories - whether from a book or from imagination - is a great way to engage with your children without putting pressure on the interaction. If you ask too many questions, or expect long conversations, your children may feel overwhelmed and withdraw. This is why talking to your children through storytelling may be a better way to connect with them.
Storytelling may increase your children’s willingness to communicate their thoughts and feelings. It is a fun way to encourage active participation, increase verbal skills, and get creative.
7.Build A Fort Together
Building forts is an exciting pastime for children of all ages. It can be a great opportunity for you and your children can get creative and move around. Here are some ideas for your next fort building session:
Grab a flashlight and tell stories
Gather large cardboard boxes and create tunnels going to and from the fort
Incorporate an art project and create a sign for the entrance
Encourage your children to use the fort for a special activity like reading or drawing
8.Cook Or Bake Family Recipes
A large number of families have stopped eating meals together. Cooking as a family has also declined. Taking the time to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals is beneficial not just for children, but for the whole family. While it may not be practical to cook together every day, there are many benefits to this activity.
Cooking with your children may help them feel more included in family affairs. In divorced families, children often feel overlooked, so they do not voice their emotions. If everyone is involved in making a meal, your children will know that they are a valued member of the family.
9.Say Family Gratitudes
You might be aware of the benefits of saying daily gratitudes for yourself, but saying them as a family can be extremely beneficial for your children as well. For example, you might sit down for dinner as a family and go around the table saying what each person is grateful for. This promotes a positive mindset for children. As they approach struggles in their lives, daily gratitudes serve as a great reminder of all the good they have.
Family gratitudes can also teach your children important values. Children of divorce often feel angry or confused about the state of their families. They may feel like they “lost” a part of their family when their parents got divorced. By saying gratitudes as a family, your children will learn to be appreciative of their own unique family.
10.Volunteer As A Family
Different ages and interests often make it difficult to connect with your children. Volunteering as a family is a great way to close those gaps. It is an activity that anyone can enjoy, while understanding the value of generosity and kindness. Here are some benefits of volunteering as a family:
You and your children will have quality time without distractions.
Volunteering challenges everyone, you will step out of your comfort zone and be more willing to try new things.
The kindness you give to those in need can extend to your family.
You will share unique memories with your children
Connecting with your children does not mean making huge lifestyle changes. If you take some time out of each day to get to know your children, you might be surprised by how much you learn.