Sometimes the days are so busy that we fool ourselves into believing that our normal communication, the requests and commands, are a form of connecting. Connecting is different and sits apart from the daily communication you have with your kids. Connecting is like the frosting on the cake, you’ll be okay if don’t have it, but the cake just doesn’t taste right without it. Take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to connect with your kids in fun and different ways. The memories you make in the process will sustain the both of you for a lifetime! Here are 15 examples.
1. Take a moment and ask your child to tell you 5 new things about them? Then be silent, and listen.
2. Ask your child to share one thing you don’t know about him/her & you’ll share one thing (s)he doesn’t know about you.”
3. Instead of asking, “How was your day?” or “How was school?” ask, “What’s the best thing and the worst thing that happened today?” That phrasing causes a child to think. It allows him to feel safe. And if you make that question a ritual, something he can count on being asked, (s)he will come to trust it and be willing to reveal the situations that may have upset him/her during the day. This little tip works wonders for many, many years to come!
4. Go give your child a big “out of the blue” hug! When (s)he asks, “What was that for?” Tell her/him your heart just wanted to say hi! Those unplanned hugs started a tradition in our house. I realized that there were times my kids would act out to get some attention, so I switched things around. I empowered the kids to come and ask me for a hug. I realized that I wasn’t always aware of what their needs were, so I asked them to sense when they needed a hug and come ask for one. Those connected moments are some of the sweetest memories I have.
5. Just for fun, introduce an activity you loved from your childhood then have your child introduce you to an activity (s)he loves to do. Let loose and play! When our family did this we climbed trees, played baseball and half-ball. So much fun.
6. Go to the library and bring home one of your favorite childhood books to share with your child. Leave it as a surprise gift. Either they read it or you read it to them. If you need book ideas: http://bit.ly/XfcfXT
7. Invite your child to plant something in the garden so you can both watch it grow. You can use it as a teaching reference to show your child how you feel about them getting older.
8. Invite your child go on a date. Go to a movie, a museum, or out for ice cream. Watch the connection blossom.
9. One day ride every form of transportation across the city/town where you live in. The both of you will never forget it!
10. Invite your child to get dressed up and go on a lunch date. Watching him/her being so grownup ~ a connection not to miss.
11. Look at old family albums & tell your child the stories behind the pictures. I told my two how I watched my great grandmother pluck the feathers out of a chicken! Great Grandma was a tough old bird, pun intended!
12. Create rituals. On birth~day consider sharing the story of your child’s birth or adoption. Not details, just the feelings, the joy, and what it first felt like to be that connected. It shows your child how much you love and want him/her.
13. When dads & sons do projects together, more than just the project is being passed on. It’s a dad showing a boy what it’s like to be a man.
14. Have a glam night with your daughter. Doing that not only teaches her how to look good, it also creates a deep connection ~ priceless.
15. Have a talk about what it was like to be a kid in your day, and ask your kids what the different is about being a kid today ~ the appreciation you’ll each feel for the other helps build respect and generational memories.
Check out more ideas and tips at www.proactiveparenting.net