With life moving so rapidly, you may feel like you are missing out on precious time with your child. It’s even easier to feel like you aren’t as connected to your child as you’d like to be. Sometimes you might not know how to regain that bond you’d love to have with your child.
Here are 10 practical ways to reconnect with your child.
Make your child feel special
When children (and adults!) don’t feel special to the people they love it can really damage their self-esteem and confidence. You don’t have to shower your child with pricey gifts and trips to make them feel special. In fact, that could have unintended consequences. Instead, shower your child with love, affection, and positive energy. Something as simple as doing chores with your child can encourage a connection with them. Check this out for more ideas about how to make your child feel special.
Listen carefully to what your child says
This is especially critical as your kids grow older. Kids are intuitive and they know if you are paying attention to them or not. No matter how good you are at multi-tasking, your child deserves your one-on-one attention. Practice active listening skills with your child. It is a win-win situation. They begin to feel connected to you and learn how to listen.
Teach your child how to relax
Believe it or not, life stresses out kids too! As an adult, it’s very easy for stress and overwhelm to consume you. Your child can easily get overwhelmed and stressed out as well. Practicing relaxation techniques as a family can reduce stress and help you reconnect with your child. Here are 11 relaxation strategies you can share with your children.
Don’t let your bad day stand in the way of staying connected to your child
Bad days are just a part of life. Unfortunately, your child might not realize that they are not to blame. If you are short with your child or they sense that you are unhappy, they might steer clear. They might not even know how to reconnect with you afterward. Dr. Laura Markham, a child psychologist, makes it clear that you, as the parent, are responsible for reconnecting with your child. One way to reconnect is to ask your child for a do-over, as Dr. Laura mentions.
Find things to do that don’t involve a screen (for either of you!)
Screen-free time is so important in this day and age. Everything seems to revolve around your phone or tablet. Some studies show that it’s possible to become addicted to technology. It’s important to find activities to do with your children that don’t involve a screen. It’s so easy to check out Facebook or Instagram instead of playing with your child or helping them with their homework. Leyla Preston, from The Motherhood Diaries, has an excellent list of activities to do with your child that don’t involve screentime.
Resolve conflicts with your children quickly and respectfully
Just as you deserve respect, so does your child. While it may be tempting to snap at your son or daughter after asking them to clean their room for the 3rd time today, it doesn’t help build a strong relationship with them. If your child fears conflict with you it could lead to them trying to resolve dangerous situations on their own. The Peaceful Parent Institute offers tips and advice to rebuild the connection with your child after a conflict.
Empathize with your child
Chances are, if you are looking to reconnect with your child, they might be experiencing some strong feelings that they haven’t fully shared. These big feelings can show up in mysterious situations. It’s essential to allow your child to “feel their feelings”. When your child feels safe in sharing their feelings they’ll be likely to come to you before their emotions get out of hand.
Rebond with your child in small chunks of time
You don’t need to spend hours at a time reconnecting with your child. Simple things such as heartfelt hugs or unexpected quick activities can strengthen the bond with your child. Rebbecca Eanes of Positive-Parents.org offers 15 ways to connect with your child in 5 minutes or less.
Get your child’s opinion
Getting your child’s opinion helps them feel like they are an important part of the family. Have you ever heard the saying, children are meant to be seen and not heard? Sometimes parents inadvertently treat their children this way without ever speaking the words. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to another opinion when it would be so much easier to just take care of situations on your own. Take the few extra minutes to truly listen to your child’s opinion on the issue. You might be surprised at the unique point of view they share. Nicole Day suggests that simple things like this could even reduce attention seeking behavior.
Plan a family night
Family nights are such a pleasant way to reconnect with your entire family. When using this as a way to reconnect with your child ensure you are doing activities they will find enjoyable. If you have more than one child allow each one to pick out an evening activity. You don’t even have to spend a great deal of money. Maybe you rent a movie and pop some popcorn. Create a family vision board. The key is to do activities that allow you and your kids to connect.
While it would be ideal to never have to “reconnect” with your child, it’s not practical to think you’ll always be connected to them. Life happens. What’s most important is that you continually work to maintain a positive realtionship with your child. It’s especially important as they grow up. Their hormones and emotions are all over the place. One minute you might have a perfectly fine relationship and the next your child is barely speaking to you. If you’re looking for specific advice about how to reconnect with your teenager check this article out.
Stay positive and stay consistent mom & dad.