We all have a need for those close moments with our children that make our hearts melt. Connection is just as important to parents as it is to our children, because that's what makes all the sacrifices so worth it.
The connection we share with our children is one of the reasons they willingly follow our rules & guidance. Kids who feel strongly connected to their parents want to cooperate, if they can. They'll still act like kids, which means that at times their emotions will have upper hand but that is also part of growing up. When they trust us and understand that we are on their side, they are motivated to follow our lead.
There are days when all we can do is meet our children's most basic needs. Some days it's nothing short of heroic simply to feed them, bath them, keep an encouraging tone, and get them to sleep at a reasonable hour — so we can do it all over again tomorrow! Especially now during this challenging time.
The only way to keep a strong bond with your child is to build in daily habits of connection. Here are a few ways you can add build a stronger connection with your children without having to add time to your day.You'll find that using them daily changes everything.
1. Aim for 12 daily hugs
Snuggle with your child first thing in the morning for a few minutes, and just before bedtime. Hug when you say goodbye and when you see each other again. Make eye contact and smile, this is a different way of touch.
2. Laugh together
Laughter keeps you connected with your child by stimulating endorphins and oxytocin in both of you. Making laughter a daily habit also gives your child a chance to laugh out the anxieties and upsets that otherwise make him feel disconnected and more likely to act out.
3. Turn off technology when you interact with your child
Your child will remember for the rest of her life that she was important enough to her parents that they turned off their phone to listen to her. Even turning off music in the car can be a powerful invitation to connect, because the lack of eye contact in a car takes the pressure off, so kids (and adults) are more likely to open up and share.
4. Slow down and enjoy the moment
Instead of rushing your child through the schedule so you can spend a few minutes with him before bed, use every interaction throughout the day as an opportunity to connect. Slow down and share moments with your child.
5. Welcome emotion
Yes, sometimes it might be inconvenient. But your child needs to express his emotions, or they'll influence his behaviour. Besides, this is an opportunity to help your child heal those upsets, which will bring you closer. So gather all of the compassion you have, don't let the anger trigger you, and welcome the tears and fears that always hide behind anger. Remember that you're the one he trusts enough to cry with. Breathe your way through it and acknowledge all the feelings while offering understanding for his pain.