Top 5 Tips for Deeper Connection with your Kids!
Listen, the times we live in are fast paced, full of screens and distractions. How do we make sure our kids feel supported, heard and loved? How do we show our kids how much they mean to us? How can we deepen our connection and bond despite all this noise in our lives? In order for that to happen we need to develop a good relationship! Below is my Top 5 Tips for Deepening My Connection with my Kids!
Listen from the Ears of Your Heart:
To listen from your heart is a deep form of listening. How often do we talk to someone and already know what we’re going to say before they finish talking? It takes practice to be present. When your little one is talking..STOP and listen from the ears of your heart. Put away what you are doing and really listen. Practice empathy with them so they may practice it with other people and themselves! What is the root of what they are trying to share with you? Let them know you hear them. Sometimes that is all they need to feel loved and supported.
Ask an open ended question….
Tell me more about that?
How did that make you feel?
How could that go different next time?
Doing this on car rides or before bed is a great way to sneak in some real listening and connection.
When you loose your Shit Apologize:
Let’s face it, ain’t no one exempt from loosing their cool from time to time! I don’t know a parent on the planet who doesn’t blow a gasket once in a blue moon when your kids have finally frayed the very last nerve you had! It’s OK. We’re human and so are our kids. When my eyes finally stop bulging and I feel less likely to strangle one of them, I take a minute to apologize. Let your kids know you’re human! You will demonstrate to them you aren’t perfect but you keep trying and that’s what you expect from them too! While you’re at it take a minute to forgive yourself and acknowledge all you do…we’re all doing the best we can! I am convinced parenthood is the toughest job on the planet!
Tell Them Why:
When we asked “why” as kids we were often told, “because I said so!” Although we want to teach our kids to respect adults, the truth is there is likely a really good reason you do what do. This can be a great teachable moment. Tell your kid why! Tell them why they can’t do XYZ. They still may be angry with you but at least they are informed.
Take a Look in those Beautiful EYES:
Eye contact is important for connection, bonding and character development! When someone can look you in the eye, you know they feel confident in themselves. My eldest son struggled with eye contact when he was younger and still does from time to time. We used to play a game with popcorn. Every time he would look into my eyes, I would toss a piece of popcorn into his mouth to see if he could catch it. It became a fun game we would play and helped him to become more comfortable with eye contact. With my youngest son who is 5 years old I will often tell him, “I haven’t seen you in awhile!” I pull him in close and look into his big brown eyes and proclaim, “Oh! there you are! It’s nice to see you!” He always laughs and feels happy to be seen. We all want to be seen and heard.
Rituals Around Fun and Connection:
This may sound basic but regular outings and special times to connect is fun and bonding for you and your child. Kids also love routine! I know of a dad who every Tuesday makes a tuna fish sandwich with his son after school. They enjoy making it and sharing it together. It was there ritual. I loved this so much! In our family a few years ago, I started Wild Wednesdays with my kids and nieces. Every Wednesday was a new adventure. I would pick them up from school and off we went to ice cream, Tilden Park or the movies. We all looked forward to it and was our chance to regularly have a way to connect. Now I have Fun Fridays which is basically the same recipe. Creating regular rituals around bonding with our kids helps them to feel like a priority. Kids often equate time to love. Slow down with those kiddos and have fun…its good for you too!