It is important to make sure routines include love and connection with your children. All of us can get busy with sports, homework, and other activities. Here are three simple tips for keeping the connection flowing:
Tip #1: Depending on your child’s age, a note or some other caring gesture in their lunch is a nice way to put a smile in their heart. Make it simple. For my kids, I put a short note or a heart or smiley face on their napkin. If your children are 5th grade or older, be sure to ask them first. You do not want to embarrass them. At this age, they may or may not want a sweet napkin. For my 14-year-old son, I simply put a dot on his napkin. He knows I thought about him, and yet it is very private. Be creative and make it fun.
Tip #2: Right after school, find out how their day went. If you don’t want to get a “fine” or “nothing” answer, be sure to ask open-ended questions, such as: “What was your favorite part of today?” It is important that you come from curiosity and interest, and avoid interrogating. If they don’t want to talk, that’s okay too. You have accomplished your purpose of letting them know you’re interested and that you care. Some days they will want to talk, and other days not so much. Be sure to share your day too. It broadens their perspective of life, teaches them compassion, and deepens the connection.
Tip #3: Is your family eating a meal together every day? It is such a grounding tradition. If you can make that happen at breakfast and/or dinner, it creates a bond, opportunity to share and connect, and a sense of home and family. It is best if you can eat at the table without television or any other distractions. This is excellent quality time. Let it be free flowing so everyone enjoys the time together, i.e. no pressure to talk or do anything in particular. Just enjoy each other around a meal.
I realize that things get pretty hectic and plates get full … fast. Take a look at what you have going on, what you can EASILY implement, and get started. Every single thing you do to create connection with your children will provide more benefits than you can imagine. Don’t worry about being perfect, just start somewhere.
Have an amazing month!
Traci Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. If you would like to connect with her directly, simply email email@example.com or call/text 951-240-1407.