These 10 tips for staying connected with your children will help you build lifetime relationships that will stand the test of time. Check out these awesome tips!
By Amber, Contributing Writer
We live in a blessed time. Opportunities abound around every corner. But that often leads to overly packed schedules as we try to do it all. If we aren’t careful, daily life can get too busy and eventually the connection we have with our kids can suffer.
Here are 10 tips for staying connected with your children that are easy, practical, and sure to make your relationship with your kids even stronger.
Put Your Device Down
Oh, the crazy smartphone!
It’s a dubious blessing, isn’t it?
We have access to the entire world at the push of a button. In just a few seconds, we can touch base with friends from around the world, know the news, sports, and weather in any location and pin countless living room decor arrangements to Pinterest.
But it’s all at the expense of staying connected with our children.
My sweet friend, I urge you to put your device down.
“Time flies,” as the old adage says, and before you know it, your kids will be grown and gone.
Don’t look up from your smartphone to find a man standing in place of your two-year-old little boy.
If you want to stay connected with your children, you must be present in the moment. And it starts with putting your device down.
Spend Quality Time With Your Kids
It seems to go without saying that spending quality time with your kids is one of the best ways to connect with them!
As a mom, sometimes I feel so strapped for time. You know, like I can’t ever get it all done. I finally came to the realization that I can’t get it all done. And that’s when I started to recognize that there will always be more to do.
The laundry will never be finished and there will always be dirty dishes.
If you wait until all of that is finished before spending time with your kids, it’ll never happen.
Instead, make it a point to connect with your kids by putting aside some of your responsibilities (for just a bit) and spend some quality time together.
Your kids want your time and really, they want your engagement.
Really Listen to Your Kids
Are you guilty of it?
I know I am.
Mumbling to my kids, ummhmmm, as they ramble on about something important to them.
If I’m not careful, I can become very disinterested.
I would encourage you to stop what you’re doing, turn, face your child, and look him in the eyes as he tells you what is so important to him.
If your child is little, I would even encourage you to bend down so you can look into his eyes. Then put all your attention on what he wants you to hear.
Listen when your kids talk to you and they will keep talking. But if they begin to realize that you really aren’t interested when they speak, then eventually they will stop talking.
Ask Them Questions
Questions are one of the best ways to draw out your child’s heart.
But don’t just ask yes or no questions. Ask them questions that will invoke a conversation.
If you really want to connect with your children, then think of questions to ask them ahead of time.
If conversation doesn’t come easily to you, then put a little extra work into it and do some research. Here is a great list of conversation starters that you can use with just about any aged child.
Spend One-On-One Time With Each Child
I have seven kids, so one-on-one time is precious. Yet, each of my children wants to feel important.
Each one wants to feel they have a special connection to me.
Spending time one-on-one with each child is one of the best ways to connect with your kids. It doesn’t have to be a long time or anything fancy or elaborate.
Today, I played dolls with my daughter for about a half an hour and she thought I hung the moon.
Just showing your child that you’re willing to take a little bit of time out that is special and just for him, is enough to make the connection.
Get creative, and if you have to, you can use trusty old Pinterest to find ideas for connecting with your kids.
In fact, if you type in, activities to do with kids, the results that return are amazing! You should never be at a loss for what to do.
Get to Know Their Interests
Coupled with spending time one-on-one with each child, is getting to know each child’s interests.
My oldest son is learning computer programming. Many times at night after everyone else is in bed, I sit next to him and learn all about coding and web development.
Does one of your kids have a fascination with chess? Do you know his favorite musician? What does he like to do for fun? Do you know your kid’s favorite colors? Their favorite food?
Think about all the basic questions you used to ask your best friend when you were in elementary school and then ask your kids the same questions!
Getting to know your kids’ interests says, “I love you” in a very special way!
Develop a New Hobby
Can’t find something to do with your kids that you both like? Find a new hobby together! In fact, it would be a good way to develop a connection by investigating something together.
You might be really surprised that you both find something new to do that you both really love!
Get Inside Their World
Getting inside your kids’ world may be as simple as imagining you live on a desert island with no food while playing with your six-year-old, or spending countless hours next to your teen daughter while she learns how to put on makeup.
Regardless of the activity, immerse yourself in it.
Put away the rest of the pressures and stressors of the day. Show your child how much you care by being completely about him while you’re spending time connecting.
Put Your Own Likes Aside
I just mentioned that I don’t have a single bone in my body that is interested in computer programming, nor do I really enjoy playing Legos.
I used to love playing dolls when I was a kid, but the truth be told, I typically have a million other things I could be doing at any given moment besides playing.
But that doesn’t matter.
When I’m trying to connect with my kids, I need to put my likes aside and think about my child.
You would be amazed at how special your child feels when he knows that you’re willing to spend time with him, even if it means doing something you’re not particularly fond of.
Bedtime is Important
It’s the hour of the day that we as parents all long for, right? Sometimes I find myself looking up at the clock calculating how long before everyone will be in bed and the house is quiet.
There is a temptation to rush through the bedtime routine so I can get everyone tucked in as quickly as possible and enjoy a little peace and quiet.
But, bedtime can be one of the most important times of the day for connecting with your child.
There’s something about bedtime that makes a child open up. Perhaps it’s stalling a bit to stay up just a little later, but even if that’s the case, I’ll take it to get inside my child’s heart.
I can’t count how many bedtime conversations I had with my mom and dad as a child. Being able to pass that same tradition on to my kids is a privilege.
Spend extra time with your kids tonight as you tuck them in. Talk about their day and how it went. Ask them about any plans, fears, or excitements they have for the following day.
Don’t rush over bedtime and miss the opportunity to connect with your child.
These 10 Ways to Stay Connected With Your Child Will Build Bonds That’ll Last a Lifetime
Your kids will know that you really love them because you spend time with them. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time each day, but it does need to be some time.
Don’t let the busyness of daily life pass you by, and thus miss the opportunity to develop heart connections that will last for years to come.
What tips do you have to stay connected with your children?