Being a working parent, it can make it challenging to connect with your children after a long day at the office. Some days you are beyond exhausted trying to put a home-cooked meal on the table, get them to their after school extra-curricular activities, and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself to be the best parent you can be.
When it comes to connecting with your children, it is important to give them your undivided attention and be present. As much as you feel overwhelmed from a long day at work, this quality time with your children can definitely help you be more mindful of your own daily practice.
It only takes a few minutes a day to start building a loving connection that turns into a healthy parent-child relationship that thrives. So how do you find the time? You make the time because you value your relationship with your children and their healthy development.
Here are 7 Activities To Connect With Your Children:
1. Cuddle and Chat Together
Cuddling and chatting with your children shows them how much you care and love them in regard to their well-being. Giving them some tender, love, and care lets them know you are there for them to lean on when they have had a tough day at school or feel upset because their needs weren’t met. Nurturing your children through nonverbal communication skills, cuddling and eye contact, is a clear indicator that helps them feel safe and secure under your parental care. And verbal communication, chatting, enables their feelings to be validated while reassuring them you will help solve the problems together to ease their worries.
2. Play A Game
Children as young as three understand playing a game can be fun and exciting. They enjoy the challenge of being able to try something new and experiencing the feeling of joy when having your undivided attention. When playing a game, you and your child can talk about strategies, how to overcome a loss, learn to be independent as they make their own decisions, and enjoy their one-on-one time when you. You’ll be surprised how much fun it can be for the whole family. Game Ideas: hide and seek, board games, etc.
3. Make A Craft Project
A craft project can be anything from baking a new cookie recipe, planning a picnic, building an airplane model, designing flower arrangements, coloring, painting watercolors, tie-dying t-shirts, making a play to act out, building a fort, and taking photographs on a nature walk and pinning to a vision board. Children love creativity as this naturally builds their self-esteem and self-worth because they are proud to make something using their greatest strength- their mind. Plus, there’s no right or wrong to making something, but pure enjoyment in the creation of crafting a project and being proud of it. You and your children can even talk about budgeting you need for the project and value of supplies as learn is a lesson that can be learned while having a great time.
4. Find A Shared Hobby
Being a parent, you want to be able to spend your free time doing something you enjoy too. Finding a shared hobby that both you and your children can appreciate, kills two birds with one stone. You get to learn a new hobby or practice a hobby you love while taking pleasure in having quality time with your children. It’s a win-win! Depending on how old your children are, here are a few suggestions: dance class, golf lessons, yoga class, photography, playing a musical instrument, baking/cooking, gardening, softball/baseball league, tennis lessons, and the list goes on.
5. Write In A Journal
Children learn to begin expressing their emotions at an early age, even before they can spell. It's a great way to help them process their feelings when facing sadness or disappointment about not getting their way. If your children can't spell yet, consider giving them crayons to color on a piece of paper. If your children can spell, gift them a personal journal where they can write down their feelings when experiencing discomfort. Also, giving them some stickers can embellish their pages, too. Journaling teaches everyone to self-soothe in a positive way and helps overcome the emotional setbacks they are experiencing. Not only is this powerful to do with your children, but it also allows you to continue being a healthy parent and experience bonding during quiet time.
6. Read A Book
Children crave storytime given their curious minds and imagination! Fueling a child’s imagination inspires creative thinking and problem-solving skills they can apply for a lifetime. It's a simple, yet rewarding moment for you and your child to learn about characters in a book from the beginning to the end. Children can discover how the experience of a traumatic event and still come out thriving at the top through perseverance and gratitude. And if your children are old enough to read, let them read to you. It can create a relaxing environment for all, especially before bedtime.
7. Self-Care Spa Day
Self-care is vital to having a healthy relationship with your children. Creating an at-home spa day can be fun and invigorating to you and your children. Teaching children to take care of themselves at a young age sets them up for greater success as an adult. While forming a deeper connection with your children, turn on some spa or classical music and light a few candles to set the ambiance. At-home spa activities but not limited to may include putting facial masks (kid-friendly) on each other, painting/cutting nails, any personal grooming or styling hair, shoulder or foot massages, and/or braiding hair.
Struggling with connecting with your children? Contact us today for a complimentary consult to begin working towards a healthy connection between you and your children.