As parents, we all want our little ones to grow up into happy, well-mannered, educated adults. And we try to start training them for this big ask early. We teach them good manners, etiquette, sit with them as they finish one worksheet after another, and remind them how to be kind and polite and so on. But amidst all this, you might end up viewing the whole parenthood as a long list of to-dos and forget to be nurturing and caring.
Your child, on the other hand, is also extremely busy with friends, school and extracurricular activities. Soon, even before you realize it, you will see you are talking or bonding with your child lesser and lesser there by creating a gap between the two of you by the time the child hits the teens.
10 Tips To Bond Better With Your Children
There are multiple ways to ensure that you bond better with your children amidst all these chaos. Here they are:
- Plan a date night, with your child: That is right. Set a time every fortnight or month when you and your child go on a date. You could catch a movie, have a great meal afterwards and/or go to his favorite ice cream place. Keep it light. And fun
- Read a book together: Pick a good book that both of you like and read it together. You can read it to your child if he is not big enough to do so himself. The idea is to spread the activities over several days and weeks and discuss the story and the characters as you proceed. It will lead to some incredible discussions and bonding
- Teach your child something fun: “Teaching” usually can be boring. You might be teaching him something academic from a textbook. You might be teaching your child some interesting facts and trivia, outside of curriculum. You might also be teaching him practical things like riding a cycle, making his own bed and so on. While all that is good, one way to bond with your child better is teach him something fun. How to bake? How to flip a pancake? How to do barbecue? How to make a DIY aircraft? Whatever you pick, make sure it is fun and not highly demanding
- Garden together: Gardening together is a great way to teach your child about the nature, environment and sustainability, while also bringing you both close to each other. Imagine the sense of accomplishment to see a fruit from the seed you planted together. When you start using the herbs and vegetables that you and your child planted together in your kitchen, your child will feel happy and positive and will have you to thank for it
- Go for a long walk: Try to go for a long walk after dinner with your child at least a few times a week. You could talk about the day, reflect on things together, explore the neighborhood a bit and get fit while at them!
- Plan a road trip together: Plan a surprise road trip one weekend. Make sure the destination is something that interests your child. But make it more about the journey and less about the destination. Stock the car with his favorite snacks, play his favorite music playlists and pick a day when you know your child does not have any other plans
- Show your silly goofy side: Show your child you are not all about rules and to-do lists. You can be silly too. Children connect with adults with a sense of humor better. Make up silly songs, spontaneously start dancing when you hear a song, and be generally witty. You can also tell them stories from your childhood when you did something goofy. And see how quickly your child connects with you
- Touch: Touching can be a very warm and loving way to bond with your child. Hold your child and hug him often. Even when you are scolding your child, hold his hand. Let them know that you care, no matter what. Some kids do not like cuddling. If that is the case with your little one, find alternatives to touching that he is comfortable with, such as ruffling his hair or roughhousing for a little while
- Be available: Kids are not adults who would bring their problems on the table on scheduled meetings. And you cannot press them to talk as and when you want them. You have to make sure that they know and understand that you are available to them, without it seeming like a demand. You also need to be a good listener to them, else being there with the kids serves no purpose
- Respect- both sides: Understand that respect should be a mutual feeling. When it comes to kids, we tend to take the role of a boss, and demand respect without even being empathetic to them. This, unfortunately, does not work. When respect is mutual, your child will learn to treat everyone else with respect and expect to be treated with respect himself
It is not enough to tell our kids that we love them, as parents, we need to show and prove our love to them through actions everyday. Make that connection with your child and pay thoughtful attention to your equation- raising a happy, healthy and well-behaved kid.