Today I acted more like a CEO on a mission rather than a present and compassionate mommy. My patience level was low and my “To Do” list a mile long. I lost three days this week by being sick. I’m still sick (sinus infection) and have a pounding headache, so the last thing I wanted to do was spend 12 hours with my (almost) three year old.
I hadn’t been to the grocery store since last week, laundry was piled high and wide and my girlfriend is coming to visit for five days. I had several things I wanted to do to prepare for her visit (stock the fridge and make sure she has clean sheets and towels aside) and now that it’s almost 10:00 and my son has been in bed for over two hours the guilt is starting to set in.
You see, I pretty much dragged my son around all day. Our days are usually built around him, a fun outing or activity, play date and lots of one-on-one time. Today, there were no park visits or books read, it was just in and out of the car and a lot of barking orders and time outs. He refused to take a nap and was needy all day long. No wonder, right?
Connecting with your child, whether they are six months old or six years old, is so important and bonding with your children is not only something they crave, but it makes the awkward tween/teen years much easier.
If youâ€™re finding it difficult to see eye-to-eye, you and your child may benefit from setting aside some special time to spend together each day during which you focus on re-connecting through simple activities and interactions which encourage feelings of closeness, connection and laughter.
Here are some great starting places:
1. Talk. The car is a great place to connect by singing along together to the radio, pointing out different surroundings or just talking about your day.Â When asking questions such as, “What did you learn in school today?” never settle for “Nothing” or “I don’t know,” Dig a lot deeper! You’ll be glad you did.
2. Eat meals together. Some of the best family conversations have taken place around the dinner table, but don’t forget about lunch. Consider surprising your child at their school and having lunch with them and their classmates. How special would that make them feel?
3. Do something together. Play a game, read books, color, prepare a meal– do anything, as long it’s together. By working on a project together you are encouraging teamwork and cooperation, which help strengthen your bond while hopefully also creating a lasting memory.
4. Take a walk. Sometimes the very act of changing your surroundings can make a huge difference. A walk around the neighborhood won’t take that long and will give you and your child a chance to reconnect while getting some fresh air and exercise, too. My son and I make a list of different items to find before we leave the house and it instantly turns our walk into an adventure.
Lucky for all of us, tomorrow is a new day and I guarantee things will be very different around here.
What are your favorite ways to connect with your children?
Photo credit: din!