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About a year ago, I realized that because of my crazy busy life as a working mom, there were still days when I’d be saying goodnight to my kids and realize that we hadn’t really connected at all that day. Can you relate?
When we take time to connect with our kids every day, we stay in tune with what is going on in their lives.
As our kids grow, they change. Their hopes, dreams, fears, and concerns change. Connecting with them daily helps us take note of these changes and lets us lend a listening ear or helping hand when needed.
Yes, connecting with our kids is vital to building stronger relationships. Connections reduce stress and worry resulting in stronger families.
Crazy simple ways to connect with your kids each day.
Our goal is to connect with your kid daily. I’ll be sharing a few ways you can do this that are super simple and won’t take a lot of work. Pick the most doable one and be consistent.
1 Eat a meal together.
This the easiest way for most of us to catch up with our kids.
We have a table rule of no electronics for kids or mom which means meal time is catch up time. I share a fun story from work at the end of the day or they tell me about their amazing plans for Minecraft creation at breakfast.
Tip: Now is not the time to work on table manners. Focus on your child and what they are telling you both in words and actions. Remember your goal is to connect with your kids, not pick on table manners.
2 Cook together.
For one on one time, cooking is an easy way to connect with your child especially as they get older. You need to prepare food anyway and most children will open up if they are busy doing something.
They feel less pressure because you are not staring at them. Right? Don’t stare at them.
Instead, have them do something useful such as chopping veggies, making a salad, or preparing the main dish while you share about your day. Don’t grill them; as you share, they often will too.
3 Make a date.
When I noticed my daughter copying my bad example of putting myself down, I took action. I made a plan on how to build her confidence and now we have a weekly date.
Although the day changes each week due to my crazy schedule, I make sure we have at least 15 minutes each week to dig into our journal, have a treat and just chat.
Sometimes it is like the floodgates open and sometimes it is like pulling teeth.
The more you connect with your kids, the more you will know when to let it go or push. Right now I do most of the talking but some days I hardly get a word in edgewise.
4 Take a hike.
Getting out in nature has always helped my kids open up. Fresh air and exercise never hurt anyone either.
I try to walk every day both for exercise and to release stress. I ask one of them to come with me.
My son does not like to hike but he will come once in a while. We walk to a duck pond and back only about 10 minutes. If he starts chatting we’ll sit outside to finish the conversation.
This is also a great way to connect as a family. We try to hit the trails once a week when the weather cooperates.
Either way, it doesn’t have to be fancy. A quick walk around the block, through a local park or your backyard. The goal is to spend time with your child and listen when they talk.
5 Do something they are interested in.
This one can be a bit tougher only because it might make it uncomfortable for you 😉
Take an interest in what your kids are interested in. Then, take it a step further.
For example, if your child loves reading, read one of the books they like yourself. Learn to play a video game they like. Listen to their favorite band.
This not only shows you really do care but also gives you something in common with your kids.
My husband did this with my son.
Before they started playing the same video game, they didn’t really have a lot to talk about. My husband likes sports, fishing and outdoors. My son likes to read, code and create. There wasn’t a whole lot of connection going on. Until he took up the video game my son was playing.
Now they have something in common to talk about, strategize over and debate about.
You can do this too! Pay attention when your child is talking about their favorite book, online or board game or song and join them.
Connecting with our kids takes effort and time you may not think you have but with a little creative thinking and being mindful you can easily connect with your kids.