Creative Child

Four Habits that Help You Connect with Your Child Daily

by Rebecca Eanes

Four Habits that Help You Connect with Your Child Daily

Afternoon or After School Gathering

Children often get home from school and scatter in different directions. Even if you homeschool or your children are still very young, creating an afternoon or after school gathering provides another connection point in your day. Some ideas for this gathering include tea time, a spread of fruits with dip or cheese and crackers, a round of Uno, or my favorite - reading aloud a chapter from a great book. This only takes a few minutes, but when we make time to touch base, we will reap the rewards of better relationships. If afternoon is not doable, this can easily be adjusted to an after-dinner or before-bath gathering. The time on the clock is not important. It’s the time spent that matters.

 

A Meal at the Table

When my children were very little and my husband worked odd shifts, we never ate together. I would snack through the day, my kids would eat dinner in the playroom, and my husband just ate whenever he got home. So, I certainly understand that dinner at the table every single night is not suitable for all families. Perhaps an early morning breakfast together is more doable, or even a late evening dessert-only meeting in the kitchen works best. Whatever works for you and your family is fine! Some researchers suggest that the benefits from family meals are many, including healthier eating for kids, improved psychological well-being, greater academic achievement, and even less delinquency! (Source) We don’t need studies to tell us that gathering together for conservation and good food is meaningful though, do we? If it’s not already on your priority list, it’s a great time to start this connection-building habit.

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One-on-one Time at Bedtime

Bedtime is a great opportunity to connect with your child and to wrap up the day on a loving and positive note. I created this habit with the start of them attending school to build in some special time to hear about their days where they don’t have to talk over each other or be interrupted. I initially set it at 10 minutes per child but we often talk beyond that because children really do open up their hearts during this time. If they don’t have much to talk about, which is rare, I ask them three questions. “Tell me something good that happened today.” “Is there anything you’re worried about or want to ask?” “Is there anything you need from me right now?”

I know that by this time of night, most of us are ready to be done with the day. We might even develop a tendency to rush through the bedtime routine to get to that ever so elusive “me time.” Truly though, these few minutes spent connecting heart-to-heart with your kids is worth it.

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 

 

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