It is said that actions speak louder than words – and that is certainly true when it comes to connecting with (and teaching) your children. Children learn so much from the time they spend with their parents. This time includes everything from playtime to discipline.
A parent’s actions have a significant impact on their children. Naturally, this leaves parents concerned with the best way to teach and instil positive behaviour in their kids. The best way to create a healthy connection between parent and child is to put yourself in their shoes and endeavour to think like them – after all, you were a kid once! Here is some tips on how to get started.
Reading is a beautiful thing. When a parent reads to their child, they’re spending time with them, sharing affection, creating lasting memories, and, depending on the story – opening the door for important lessons. It’s bonding.
Even just a single bedtime story a night can leave a positive impact on the relationship. All while instilling the core values that come from many children’s books, or even “adult” books that you may read to kids. It’s an activity that multitasks.
Create One-on-One Time
One of the reasons reading together is so impactful is that it creates a moment of one-on-one time. However, parents don’t need to wait until bedtime for this moment, and often reading to children is shared across all the children in the family, so it may not be one-on-one. Children, particularly primary aged children, crave undivided attention from their parents. Those that make a point of scheduling one-on-one time with their children throughout the day will see a positive response.
Even just ten to fifteen minutes is enough, as long as parents endeavour to do so daily. Beforehand, ask your child what they want to do. Do they want to play a board game? Jump on the trampoline? Play handball? Build lego? Catch balls? Sit and talk? Read together? Brush the dolls’ hair together? The list can be endless. If your kids aren’t sure, perhaps consider giving them some suggestions beforehand to consider. Go along with whatever idea comes to mind – as long as it is within reason, of course.
Learn About Their Interests
Children are not carbon copies of their parents. As such, they will develop their own likes, dislikes, and hobbies. Take the time to learn about your child’s passions. Even if whatever they love is something you’re not as interested in (what parent hasn’t gotten sick of watching the same movie or TV show over and again? The Wiggles, Dora, Tinkerbell – we’ve all had those moments 🙂 ), it is essential to take part in what’s important to your kids. Doing so creates a stronger bond and reinforces the idea that their wants and needs matter.
Turn off the Tech
Last but certainly not least, take the time to turn off your tech (particularly in one-on-one time). Yes, that includes your phone. Being on your phone while you are with your children puts distance between you and the moment you should be sharing with them. Remember the song “Cats in the Cradle” by Cat Stephens? It was pre mobile phones, but it is relevant to being present for your children. So put down the phone and enjoy this time with your family.