Over time we have learned the importance of being there or present with your children.
Throughout the years, people have grown to accept and find value in the many different family dynamic realities that include but are not limited to: Two working parents in a household, Single parent household, blended family household, and the co-parenting households. Although these more modern household dynamics have proven to be capable of raising children successfully, one thing that can prove to be a challenge for many of these homes is the fast-paced, always on the go, busy lifestyle that our society heavily promotes. The “hurry up and go” lifestyle that we are all in submission to in one way or another, makes it difficult for many families to spend quality time with their children, which in turn could produce some shame, guilt, and anxiousness in many parents.
These high demands and obligations may seem impossible or just exhausting, especially when it comes to planning activities or thinking about ways to bond with your children. But today, I want to lessen the load and encourage you with a few tips that you can in cooperate in your day to day lifestyle that can help increase bonding and attachment with your children and allow the child to feel heard and loved.
Spend 10-15 min of quality time a day. You might be thinking, “Wow, that doesn’t seem like very much time” but its not about quantity, the amount of time you spend, rather its about the quality, how you spend the time with your child. During this time it is important to give your child your undivided attention, that means no distractions such as multitasking, or phone time, including taking pictures. The child needs to know that you are focused only on them. During this time, allow him or her to pick the activity you will be doing. (Something that doesn’t evolve electronics would preferred but use whatever resources are available to you). Some examples can include reading a book, drawing a picture, coloring, playing with toys, playing a quick board or card game, or an outside activity.
If your child is younger 2-4, spending this time praising the child when possible ” Good, Job (Insert Child’s name) and “Wow,_______”. Be descriptive by paying attention to the child’s actions “You picked up the blue block” and a combinations of both describing the child’s behavior and praising the child’s actions. Try to make it as natural as possible, the focus should be more on the joining and connecting with your child rather then how you are praising or describing. If you are reading a book make eye contact, engage with the child by adding to the story and allowing the child to add to the story, and be close or near your child, allow your child to sit near by or in your lap if he or she desires, encouraging physical touch and affection, smiles, hugs, holding hands.
If the child is older 5-8. You can implement the same technique but make it more conversational. For example, during an art activity you would say “Wow, I like the way you draw your houses”. Focusing on their strengths and positive qualities. You can even ask the child to teach you how to do the activity and allow them to guide your through the process. This allows the child to feel valued, heard, promotes self confidence and increases the bond between you and your child.
It is important that you let your child know that this is their “special” time with you. If the child able to understand time, you can even mention the 15 min time limit. If they are having a difficult time with the transition you can have a timer or countdown with the child making them of aware of when there is 5 min left, 2 min left, then one. At the end you would say, “I really love spending time with you and I know you really like spending time with me, but our time is up. We will have our time again together tomorrow” or The day you decide to implement the bonding time.
Consistency is key. Make sure you are consistent and follow through if you do tell the child about the next bonding time. This will allow the child to feel secure and trusting, which will increase the bond and love and create a healthy, secure attachment between you and child.
Simple Right? Well if it doesn’t sound all that simple that is okay too. The good thing about this activity is that this will become natural with time and practice. Your child will grow to appreciate this time together and this will encourage a strong healthy connection between you and your child.
I hope this was helpful to you, Please let me know if you have any questions, I would love to answer.
I would love to know, What are some things that you do currently to spend quality time with your children?