Show your family that they’re important to you by giving them your undivided attention during family meal time. We all know how busy life can be so start slow if you need by having one or two family meals per week. The Washington Post explains more about the benefits of eating together as a family from increased vocabulary to healthier eating habits and lower chances of childhood depression.
You can’t always be with your children to help them make correct choices or to help them in difficult situations. But you CAN be a constant voice of love and support by leaving your kids little notes to read throughout the day. One easy way to do this is to leave your children notes of love and encouragement in their lunchbox to read halfway through the day. Click here to learn more about 7 notes you should write for your children. Image source.
Take advantage of time spent in the car together to get to know more about your son or daughter. The informal setting can be ideal for getting your child to open up in some unexpected ways. Psychology Today shares more about car chatter here.
Many people relate to bonding with family while going out to movies together. But you can also get closer to your kids from shared reading time. The difference… you can actually talk and share your imagination with books. Read for school assignments, bedtime stories, or just because. Read more about one dad’s experience as he found the joys of reading with his children here.
Do What They Want To Do
Let down your parenting walls for a change and have some fun doing what your child wants to do for an afternoon. Let them share with you what they enjoy doing for fun. They will relish in your willingness to play on their level with them, and besides, who knows what kinds of things you’ll learn about them. Psychology Today explains more here about productive play with kids.
Praise, Praise, Praise!
If you think of all the media and messages you’re exposed to in one day, chances are that most of it is negative, worrisome, and hurtful or demeaning to some extent. It’s so easy to get down on ourselves and the world around us when we’re constantly bombarded with these kinds of messages. So flip the tables in your child’s world by boosting their day with words of encouragement and praise. You’ll be surprised at how much more likely they are to make good choices when they seek your words of approval. Read more about the power of praise from Understood.org.
Disconnect to Reconnect
It’s always a bit shocking to me when I’m in a public place and see the majority of people staring at a device rather than talking with their loved ones right next to them. I can be just as guilty as the next when it comes to burying my face in my devices but I’ve also been making it a point to disconnect from devices to reconnect with my family. I can’t tell you how much this simple step has helped me reestablish strong relationships with each of my sons. Learn more here about 6 ways to reconnect with your family without devices.
Children’s problems often seem so silly and unimportant. But they aren’t silly or unimportant to your child. They are very real concerns to undeveloped minds. But by empathizing with your children when it comes to their problems, they learn that you have their back and that they can trust you. Read more about how empathy can be your #1 parenting tool from Aha! Parenting.
Learn to Apologize
It can be uncomfortable, but apologizing to children when we make a mistake is one of the best ways to build a stronger relationship. Not only are you modeling positive life skills, but you also show your children that their feelings are more important to you than your pride. Psychology Today shares more about how and when to apologize to your child.
Dream Their Dreams
I’ve found that one of the hardest parts of being a mother is letting go of my personal hopes and dreams for my boys and letting them pursue their own hope and dreams. I’ve learned the hard way that the more I push them to follow my insights for them, the more resistant they become to both that path and to me. Of course I still keep some boundaries and rules, but when I’ve let go and let my boys pursue their own dreams, I’ve found that everyone is happier and relationships are stronger. The Mindful Word has some great insights into letting children find their own path.
Never Be Too Busy
Of course you have your responsibilities and own pursuits, but make a point in setting aside time to spend with your kids. Your children will deeply feel the message you send as you make sacrifices in your own schedule in order to be spend time with them. Here are some easy ways to spend time with your children individually.
If you want a guaranteed way to get closer to your children, then literally bring them closer for more frequent hugs. Your message of love could not be more clear! Read up here on 7 fantastic benefits to hugging your child.