Making meaningful connections with our children is simple, but it requires us, parents, to be intentional.
I often catch myself on my phone or distracted by the busyness that comes from being a mom and I miss opportunities to really and truly connect with my children.
It is so easy to let a moment slip away. Being intentional is not hard, but it requires us, parents, to be present.
1. Start the day with a hug
When I was a teen, I was a mother’s helper. I spent countless Saturdays and summer days helping out on the farm with the children. I was there pretty early in the morning.
One of the things that impressed me the most was that the mom would sit on the couch or comfy chair and hug each child as they arrived downstairs. She stopped whatever she was doing to sit and cuddle.
Each child would sit on her lap as long as they needed and enjoyed the moment. This has left such a mark on me. I knew that this was something that I wanted to do if I ever had children: begin the day with a hug.
A hug is powerful and is a wonderful way to connect.
2. Get your child involved
It is easier to cook meals and clean the house without having a child’s help. It is quicker and involves a lot less mess.
I don’t know about you, but I like working in a clean kitchen. But over time, I have learned that involving the children in the everyday running of the household can be a great way to connect.
While cooking a meal, my children will open up their hearts and let me know things that are deeply personal. Spending time in the garden, they tell me things, too.
Building projects and crafting projects have given me insight into so many of my children’s most intimate desires. You can make countless memories during the most menial tasks of the day.
Just think about when you baked with your mother or grandmother. Do you remember what you made? How it made you feel? Or how it smelled?
3. Be an active listener
This one can be a tough one for me. I have to be brutally honest. It is hard to actively listen to my children.
Some of my children want to talk all the time and others seek me out when I am catching a moment of silence. Some days I have to force myself to be extra attentive to my behavior.
I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking that I don’t care about them. I want them to feel connected.
Active listening in the younger years is so important. If you want teenagers that will come to you and talk to you about anything, a foundation is required.
I have to remind myself that their concerns or ideas, no matter how insignificant they are to me, are important to them.
Listening attentively not only promotes a healthy parent-child connection but also impacts their confidence so that they know that you will always listen no matter what they have to say.
Knowing that they have someone on their side is so important as they transition to adulthood.
4. Read to them and read with them
As a homeschool mom, this one seems like a no-brainer. You probably do this anyway.
After several years of homeschooling, I have come to realize that my children and I have developed so many memories while reading.
My kids will remind me of the times we read Inkheart in the backyard by the fire pit in near darkness and how much they would love to do that again.
- Audible Audiobook
- Cornelia Funke (Author) - Lynn Redgrave (Narrator)
- English (Publication Language)
- 03/25/2004 (Publication Date) - Listening Library (Publisher)
You can develop lots of meaningful connections through reading. We have our favorite quotes and funny moments to reflect on.
The more you read to them and with them, the more they will beg you to read. Reading creates connections with your children on so many levels.
5. Make an effort
Ouch! That sounds so preachy. It can be difficult to make an effort, though.
As a mom of 8 kids, I have to be extra careful that I am not unabashedly oblivious to the needs of some of my children. Some of them are super needy and make themselves heard and get plenty of time to connect with me.
Others, however, are super independent and quiet and require my extra due diligence to connect with them.
Over the years, I have found a few ways to make those extra special one-on-one connections with my children.
One way that we love to connect is by writing each other notes. Here is a quick list to get you started:
- Surprise them with something they like.
- Tell each other jokes.
- Write them notes (my little guys love it when a big person helps them do this and someone plays mailman).
- Words of affirmation whispered in their ear or on note cards.
- One-on-one date or outing with no other siblings.
- Make something with them or for them especially.
- Get involved in what interests them.
There are literally hundreds of ways to make connections with our children. Sometimes, it just takes a little effort. In the end, the effort will be rewarded. Think of all the memories you will make.
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Last update on 2023-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API