Reconnecting With Your Children
I’m sure you can remember it like it was yesterday, that first look into your newborn’s eyes. You felt like you had known him forever. You felt like you were one person. You felt that deep connection. Then as time went on life got busier, maybe your child went to daycare or school and you went to work, or you had more babies and you’ve started to feel a distance growing between you and your baby. It’s time to shorten that distance and feel that connection once again. Try these tips to reconnect with your children today.
Even though your cell phone or tablet may be essential in your work life, it shouldn’t play a role or even make an appearance with you’re sharing a moment with your child. Show them that they are more important than that incoming call or text. This isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy a movie or funny video together, just don’t let your connected life cause a disconnect with your child.
Family dinners don’t have to be a formal affair but having everyone together for a few minutes at the end of a long day can be truly heartwarming. Turn off the TV, hide your cell and just let the conversation roll. As kids start school or daycare and spend the day away from you, mealtime is the perfect time to learn about all the excitement that fills your child’s day.
If you have a new baby in the house, make sure she has a place at the table as well. This may be one of the only moments that older children will get to interact with her between all the naps and nursing.
Aim for each parent to spend at least 15 minutes alone with each child per day. This one-on-one time allows for a special bond between each kid and parent. Read a book or play a game of their choice, chat about their favorite super hero or just snuggle up before bedtime. The activity isn’t important; it’s the chance to give that focused attention that’s meaningful. This becomes a bigger deal for older children with a new baby around as babies somehow seem to vacuum up all their parents’ attention!
Laugh and Play
Try to make your interactions fun and playful, especially the one-on-one time. Hug, snuggle, and giggle with your children to create happy memories that last. It doesn’t always have to be about learning manners and counting to ten, sometimes what you do with your kids can just be for fun.
Be Present and Savor It
Life’s about the journey, not the destination right? This is never truer than when your children are young. Savor the here and now instead of always wondering what the future will hold. Even those nighttime fussy awake times are something you’ll want to remember.
In order to truly savor your kid’s childhood, be present in it. Don’t try to multitask or interact with your child when you’re distracted. Prioritize what other activities need to get done in a day and then only try to get one or two things marked off. Maybe mowing the lawn will have to wait until tomorrow, no big deal, but having a water balloon fight with your son can’t be put off!
Whether your child is a newborn or a fourth grader, whether you have one or a crew of six, make the time each day to reconnect and be present in their lives. Strengthen that newborn bond that may have weakened over time and enjoy every minute of their childhood.