Creative Child

Four Habits that Help You Connect with Your Child Daily

by Rebecca Eanes

When you think back to your childhood, where do your happiest memories lie? Was it in the grand vacations and rare events or did joy show up most often in the everyday routines? When I think back to my own youth, the summer vacations to the amusement parks and over-the-top Christmas celebrations do stand out in my mind, but the grandiose doesn’t take up the biggest places in my heart. It was small things – fishing at the lake on a hot summer’s day, playing Scrabble at the table, gathering over mashed potatoes and baked chicken – that made me feel connected. It was the ordinary, regular occurrences that made us feel like family.

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We live in a culture that exalts the grandiose. If you’re not shelling out thousands at Disney Land and throwing Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, it might feel like you’re not doing it right.  The truth is that it’s the everyday habits you keep that your children will hold most dear. It’s during the moments when you choose to be fully present and engaged with the people in front of you, laughing, listening, loving, that connection builds and the feeling of “family” sinks into the hearts of your loved ones. 

 

I understand that we live in a busy and buzzing world, but 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 positive attention and affirmation. Here are four daily habits you can begin now to build strong connections and a warm sense of family.

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Start the Day with a Morning Blessing

Mornings can be a real hassle. Trying to get everyone up and out the door on time is often a stressful time for families, and connection is generally the last thing we are thinking about during this “rush hour.” Our adult minds are focused on the dozens of things we must accomplish in the next 12 hours, and our children are often tired, grumpy, or preoccupied with their own thoughts on the day ahead. Taking two or three minutes of the morning to focus on our child’s face and say something positive can really have a big impact. “Good morning, my love! Seeing your sweet face makes me happy” is a thoughtful way to greet a child into their day. Remember “Triple A to start the day.” That stands for attention, affection, and affirmation. Aim to give them your full attention for at least a couple of minutes, offer a hug or high five, and say something positive about them. Making this a daily habit starts each day off on the right foot and will likely lead to a less chaotic morning with a more cooperative kid.

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