A lot of us live very hectic lifestyles, trying to juggle a multitude of things. For most of us, they include holding down a job, running a home and family, a social life, and trying to get some exercise in, amongst other things. It’s no wonder many of us struggle to find time for anything these days. But in reality, some things are far important than others. And being able to spend quality time with the children is one of them. Remember, quality time is needed more than the quantity of time – for those of you who are really busy, this is a vital point. It is important we understand their development, if they have any issues they need to discuss, helping them with school work and a social life of their own. We can’t assume that having a quiet child means they do not need some TLC from time to time. To help get you thinking on ways to connect with your kids, here are a few ideas:
This may be done as you’re are tucking them away for bed. All you need is around ten minutes of individual connection time. If you can sit down with your kid privately and ask any question on your mind, are you ok? Is school ok? Etc. If you can do this daily, you will develop a better understanding of them. If they are holding out on you at any point, you will be able to feel there is something wrong. Daily one-to-ones means you will be far more likely to pick up on subtle changes you may otherwise miss. That gives you scope to probe in any way you see fit, promising you won’t get mad or tell anyone is something you may have to do. And you will need to stick to your work until you have figured out how to help them.
Positive Behaviour Reinforcement
If your child has done a good job at school and got the top grades or has gone out of their way to help you or one of your siblings, for example, you need to reinforce this positive behavior. Verbal reinforcement is a must. Tell them you are proud of them, stick their high-grade on the fridge. You may need to be aware of your other children’s feelings as well, but positive behavior needs to be rewarded in some way. Perhaps, your reward could benefit all the children in some way, like taking them to see a film. Taking lots of photos of a school play, for example, and printing them off to be framed, could be a way of reinforcing good behavior. Use the gemini app to delete photo duplicates if you are an avid photo taker. You definitely want space on your phone to capture these proud moments.
Sit Down Meals
Why not have a sit-down meal every evening where phones are banned? This may take a little more preparation than having T.V dinners, but the results can be worth it. Perhaps waiting until everyone is together to have the meal is a must too. This gives you scope to have a family discussion every evening where the whole family gets to know each other better. It is also a great way to encourage healthy eating habits.
Once a month, at the weekends, you could go off for a family activity. Why not let everyone take turns in choosing an activity? That way, everyone is involved in the decision-making. Family outings such as Hikes, going to a Zoo, or a Theme Park, a mystery tour, are great ways for everyone to connect and learn more about each other’s skills. You will develop a better understanding of how your child thinks and feels about certain things, and that will enable your ability to help them if something goes wrong.
Life is not all about being serious all the time. Life is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not doom and gloom. Maybe you need to let your hair down and be a bit silly with the kids. Have a laugh and play with them. It is the small things in life that mean the most, and being able to let your hair down and have a laugh is such a great way to connect with people. It means that you are more approachable and down to earth, and sometimes that is all a child wants to see. Play tickle fights and hide and seek, and other little games which mean so much. You will find that these little things will reduce your stress levels too.