“Before you know it, they’ve grown up so fast and all you have are memories.”
When you look at your child and see them growing up so fast, it’s hard not to miss the days when they were tiny, little human beings. As much as we want our children to grow into independent adults, we also want to cherish our time with them while they are young. It is crucial for parents to connect with their children as much and as often as possible.
Here are 10 ways you can stay connected with your child.
Pay close attention to what your child says. Communication has to come both ways. As much as we want our children to listen to us, it is important for us to reciprocate too. Read between the lines and pay attention to your child’s tone and body language.
2) Create little rituals.
Find things that work, and make them happen regularly. A bi-monthly visit to the salon for a haircut with your son or a manicure with your daughter? Or a weekly ritual of stocking up pantry supplies? It is not how little the ritual is, but how much connection and bonding you forge at the end of the trip.
3) Ask your children how their day was, every day.
By simply asking how the school day or a CCA went will help your child realize that you are interested in their day to day experience and not just their school grades. Use open-ended questions to promote continuity in the conversation.
4) Give hugs, It’s FREE!
Everyone regardless of age needs regular attention and love from people who matters to them. Giving your child a hug and saying “I love you,” is one of the easiest way to stay connected. Plus… it’s FREE!
5) Be present.
Taking an interest in your child’s activities is a great way to connect. Make time in your schedule to go to a game or school event that your child will be participating in. Be present to show your support and appreciation!
6) Text your child.
In this era of digital natives, almost 8 out of 10 children carries a mobile phone with them. Drop your child texts now and then to let them know that they are on your mind but limit the number of texts sent per day.
7) DJ-ing during car trips.
Let your child be the DJ! Children especially primary school-ers are developing their tastes and many times the music they enjoy are a big part of their emerging identity. Let your child choose the playlist. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy the music, their taste in tunes is a telling window into their thoughts and emotions.
8) Movie Nights.
Schedule movie nights with your child. Start by planning a list of movies to watch and snacks to munch on. Let them choose the movie rental or Netflix flick. While you are at it, grab a big blanket and go snuggle under it!
9) Try something new together.
Trying a new sports? Food from a new restaurant? Picking up a new hobby? Sharing in a new experience with your child is a fantastic equalizer.
10) Have fun together.
There’s a saying that goes, “if you can’t beat them, then JOIN them”. Your child won’t necessarily think what you want to do is fun, that means you’ll have to pay attention to what they think is fun and join them. It’s important that you and your child find ways to enjoy each other’s company. Having fun together makes it more likely that your child will want to open up to you.