Meaningful Ways to Connect With Your Child
You’re a parent and you’re busy. Between work, extra-curricular activities, and maintaining a home, it sometimes feels like you have little time or energy to connect with your child.
You know the value of quality time, but how can you spend meaningful time with your child when you're so busy?
Here are some intentional ways to connect with your child at the end of a busy day.
HAVE DINNER TOGETHER
Eating dinner together allows you the opportunity to talk with your child about their day. It gives them the chance to discuss emerging issues and topics of interest to them.
Plus eating dinner together could affect your child’s overall well-being later in their adolescence. In fact, according to this article by parenting expert, Dr. Laura Markham, “Having dinner together is the best predictor we have of how kids will do in adolescence. The more frequently kids eat dinner with their families, the better they do in school, and the less likely they are to get involved with drugs or alcohol…”
READ A BOOK
Storytime can be a treasured ritual and allows the parent and child to connect in a relaxed and comfortable manner. You can read a picture book to your preschooler, narrate a chapter from a novel, or if you dislike reading aloud, you can listen to an audiobook together.
The key to this activity is to snuggle up together and once the reading is done, spend some time discussing the content.
GO FOR A WALK
Get dressed for the weather and head out for a walk. Whether you take a stroll through your neighbourhood or explore some wooded paths, the act of walking together often leads into lovely conversations.
Why not spend some time doing what kids do best? Play!
You can work on a block construction, care for some sick dolls, make play dough pizzas, or have a tea party. The opportunities are endless! If playing with your child is a challenge, this article offers some helpful suggestions for how to play with your kids.
Most children love to get involved in the kitchen. Invite your child to put on an apron and help you make muffins, cookies, or some other special treat. Talk, laugh, and enjoy these moments of connecting with one another.
PLAY A BOARD GAME
Most children love to play board games. There are plenty of games that children and their families can enjoy together. Cooperative games are best for improving connections and there are plenty of choices available.
Cooperative games for children under six:
Hoot Owl Hoot (Peaceable Kingdoms)
Count Your Chickens (Peaceable Kingdoms)
Lost Puppies (Peaceable Kingdoms)
Race to the Treasure (Peaceable Kingdoms)
Cooperative games for children over seven years of age:
Flashpoint (Indie Boards and Cards)
Wok Star (Game Salute)
Forbidden Island (Gamewright)
Doodle, DRAW, PAINT, CREATE
Have you ever sat beside your child to colour a picture or draw with them, only to discover that they have a lot to talk about? Drawing, painting, and creating relaxes people and often, the most honest conversations transpire when engaged in these sorts of activities.
MAKE BEDTIME A PRIORITY
Even on the busiest of days, try to end the day on an uplifting note. Use bedtime routines as an opportunity to talk, hug, and snuggle with your child. Make this a precious and anticipated part of their day.
WhICH WILL YOU DO?
Hopefully these suggestions have inspired you to connect with your child.
Charles Swindoll once said, “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Why not make one of those deposits today?
Bambini Learning Group is a holistic child care program located in Edmonton, Alberta. Their vision is to inspire families to live healthier, more meaningful lives. Through innovative, holistic and supportive resources, Bambini is helping children live the authentic childhood they deserve. New locations coming soon! Contact Bambini about their unique, holistic child care program at firstname.lastname@example.org
JENNIFER BLY is the Communications Consultant for Bambini Learning Group, a published author, and creator of The Deliberate Mom, a website full of parenting and homemaking inspiration. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood field. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.