These little people we have in our lives are amazing blessings. It’s hard to remember that when they are driving us crazy by challenging boundaries, or when work and other life stresses take our attention. Here is where the benefits of connecting with them during stronger, happier moments can be very helpful. Connection strengthens the bond. So, when you or your child have a weak or difficult moment, making one of these connections can sometimes make it easier or quicker to navigate the moment.
I love to talk to my kids about nature all the time. We play ‘I Spy’ with birds, squirrels, and flowers. Sometimes when my daughter has a hard time riding in the stroller, I get her going with a good game of ‘I Spy’. It takes her mind off her current troubles and back to that fun moment from another time when we were spotting wildlife, or even mail boxes and trash cans if you need to get creative. I do this in the house when she might need a redirection as well. I use the windows for nature ‘I Spy,’ or even just remind her what toy we had the most fun with when we last played, turning her attention to that object.
Would you rather remember listening to screaming children while making dinner until you are ready to pound a few glasses of wine, or be able to enjoy that wine slowly after having a fun dance party while cooking dinner? Sometimes they want and need our attention at the most inopportune times. I’ve been in both situations, and trust me, the dance party situation is way better. Sometimes the dance party might not work. So, the wine is there and we go back to try better for tomorrow.
Taking a moment to work with your child while learning a new skill is another great way to connect. Shoe tying, toilet scrubbing, sock matching or even golf ball cleaning. My husband is a huge golf guy and he loves to clean his golf clubs. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do with the kiddos hanging around wanting to help. He taught my son, and now my daughter, how to scrub the golf balls and even polish up some of the clubs. So, now, they can help him with his hobby. Start small and maybe your hobby can grow to be one of your kid’s hobbies; and, if that’s not a connection, I don’t know what is!
When kids are struggling with change-
Last year I was doing a lot of babysitting. I had 3 extra babies in my house during different days of the week. My youngest being not yet 2 at the time was still a baby herself. They needed a lot of my attention. My oldest was 4 and he had to either be helpful or play on his own a lot. He is amazing, but the change did wear on him. He was used to having way more of my attention and he started acting out a bit. So, I started giving him extra snuggles after story time each night. He could talk to me, hug me and have me all to himself. Sometimes this was super hard because I would be exhausted, but he needed it and so did I.
I’m sure there are many more examples of and benefits to connecting with your kiddos. I’ve put together 4 of my favorite connection strategies to get you started. Please feel free to share any times you felt you made a great helpful connection, or, if you struggle in this area, ask away! I’ll do my best to give helpful ideas!
PS: Here is an affiliate link to one of my favorite books about connecting and talking with your kiddos! (won’t cost you any extra but would help me out if you shop)