Want to connect with your child but can’t seem to find the time? Here are 25 totally doable ways to bond with kids – even with a busy schedule!
One of the hardest things about being a parent is the fact that our work is never done.
Between managing our homes, strengthening our marriages, raising our children and attending to countless other work, church or community responsibilities, how can we find time to connect with each one of our children individually?
We know that it’s important to make each child feel loved. To feel they’re a unique and vital part of the family. But this can be difficult, especially in big families.
We have four kids in our family and this is something that’s always on my mind. I want our kids to feel validated for the individuals that they are and not just feel like another part of our big circus.
As parents, we know how much we love each child – no matter how many there are. But in the crazy and wonderful chaos that comes with raising a big family, we have to help our kids know that too.
It takes effort and time. But not as much as you might think.
Below, you’ll find 25 very easy and totally doable ways to connect with your child throughout the day. But before we get to that, it’s important to understand that when you are able to truly connect, your child isn’t the only one who benefits.
CONNECTING LEADS TO MORE THAN BONDING
Having a strong parent-child bond is an important goal for parents that has lasting benefits – including laying the foundation for navigating difficult emotions during the teen years.
But there are immediate benefits too.
Connecting improves behavior. Yep, you read that right. Are you noticing more whining, fighting or acting out than usual? Chances are, what your child really needs is a little connection to reset.
Connecting helps banish mom guilt. Moms everywhere battle mom guilt. We struggle to balance our responsibilities and time with our kids. But quality is always more important than quantity.
Connecting opens the door for conversation. When you’re a present and intentional parent, you leave the door open for communication. Kids feel more comfortable coming to you with sensitive topics. They’re also more open to listening when you have something important to discuss with them.
And want to know the best part? It doesn’t have to cost any money or require big plans to make these connections. Just a little bit of intentional effort.
In fact, bonding moments can often be found naturally throughout the day and can still be powerful enough to help kids feel loved and validated.
A little bit of connection can go a long way!
25 SIMPLE WAYS CONNECT WITH YOUR CHILD
Here are a few ways to find time in your busy schedule to connect with your child.
Some of these require your full attention, and some don’t. That’s because I think it’s important for kids to learn that they can still fit into your life even without full undivided attention. That they still matter even when you’re doing other things.
- Have them read to you while you make dinner or complete a task.
- Sit down (distraction-free) and read together. They can read to you or you can read to them.
- Play a game together. Let them pick!
- Turn on music. Take turns sharing your favorites.
- Dance together. Be vulnerable and silly.
- Go on a walk – just you two.
- Draw or color together.
- Ask open-ended questions to get them talking. (Not yes/no questions)
- Leave little love notes for them to find.
- Create a habit of holding monthly personal interviews just to see how they’re doing and spend alone time with them. (Your spouse can be included on this one.)
- Take them with you when you run errands.
- Ask them to tell you about what they’re doing, building, drawing, creating, etc.
- Sit down and play with them or watch them play. (I love setting a timer for this one so they know they have my full attention for x minutes.)
- Go through family pictures and videos together.
- Tell stories, both from your life and from when they were younger.
- Do chores or work on a project together.
- Cook together. Let them help you or supervise whey they cook something by themselves.
- Sit down and eat at least one meal a day WITH them. (No multitasking here, busy mom.)
- Bring them along or include them in something you love to do.
- Go on a date – just you two.
- Join them in something they love to do.
- Let them stay up with you after bedtime.
- Whenever possible, do individual goodnights and tuck-ins
- Work together.
- Surprise them with something out of the ordinary, like sneaking out for donuts, or waking up to watch a meteor shower.
4 BONUS HABITS TO DEEPEN CONNECTION
These 25 activities are excellent ways to spend time with your child. And to make sure you get the most out of your time together, try practicing these 4 habits whenever possible:
- Make eye contact to let them know they have your full attention.
- Be a good listener and acknowledge what they say.
- Don’t make them feel like a third wheel – put your phone away momentarily.
- Make the most of driving time…because all that time in the car adds up!
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHILD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED
As parents, we know it’s important to strengthen the parent-child bond, but sometimes, we just don’t have the emotional energy to come up with ideas on the spot. So if you’re like me and love a good ready-made list of ideas for quick reference, this post will come in handy.
Then you’ll be ready to make the most of any precious alone time you can get with your kids!
All it takes is a few purposeful efforts to connect with your child and you’ll be well on your way to building a trusting relationship that will last.
OTHER HELPFUL POSTS:
- Can I Really Fit In One-On-One Time With Multiple Kids?
- 6 Times Your Child Needs You Most: How To Be A More Present Parent
- Whining 101: Why Kids Whine And How To Make It Stop
- How To Get Multiple Kids To Bed (The Easy Way)
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