BUILDING DAILY CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR CHILD
The desire to feel connected is wired into everyone’s brain. It is an emotional need we all crave. When you think about your own childhood, you may remember times you hold dearly. It could be fishing at the lake on a hot summer’s day, playing a board game, or gathering over mashed potatoes and baked chicken. It was during those moments that you felt present with and attuned to the people with whom you shared these activities. Likewise, to connect deeply with your child, you can implement a few daily habits that will help build and deepen the connection between you and her.
Here are these daily habits:
1. Start the day with a morning gratitude. Since mornings are a hassle for most parents as they try to get everyone up and out the door on time while children are often tired, grumpy, or preoccupied, it is then highly beneficial to take 2 to 3 minutes to focus on your child’s face and say something positive that can have a meaningful impact. For instance, you may say “Good morning sweetie, seeing your face makes me happy.” Giving attention, affection, and affirmation are the keys to start the day off on the right foot.
2. Set an afternoon gathering. After your child is done with school and/or her after school activities, organize a time where you spend quality time with her. This could be a tea time, a round of Uno, playing with a ball, or reading aloud a chapter from a book. What matters is to share a privileged time with your loved one.
3. Share a meal at the table. Family meals give a meaningful opportunity for family members to spend time together and enjoy one another’s company. It is the right time to encourage positive comments, adjust meal experiences to the family’s needs, and create a warm and relaxed setting in which emotional connection is prioritized.
4. Special time at bedtime. Take the time to spend about 10 minutes with your child every night before she goes to bed. If you truly listen to her, she will open up her heart and talk about personal topics. If you do not know how to start, you may try these questions “Tell me something good that happened today.” or “Is there anything you are worried about or want to ask?” or “Tell me one of your next dreams or goals.”
It doesn’t take a lot of time to connect deeply with our children. In just a few minutes at a time, several times throughout the day, we can bring our focus onto them and fill their cups with attention, affection, and affirmation that can affect their day in a positive way.
As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.