When my kids were not in school it felt so easy to truly connect with them. We were together all day and those moments were we could have a powerful one-on-one connection would simply happen.
And yes, sometimes, I had to make a conscious effort to make sure we connected during the day but it never felt hard to do.
Then, my kids started going to school and it all changed…
During the first few weeks of school all we did was connect after school but then we got into the routine of our new lives. This sometimes meant my kids would run errands with me after school, doctor’s visits that would cut into the after school time, we got stuck in traffic, everyone was hungry and dinner had to be made almost as soon as we got home, and the list goes on.
The time between the end of the school day and bedtime started feeling very very short.
I started realizing that some days came and went and we didn’t spend true, deep quality time together. Yes, we were together, we did stuff together and even played together but that deep connection simply wasn’t happening on some days because we had too many distractions.
Then the kids started having more meltdowns and tantrums, they started fighting more with each other and I went to bed too many times feeling like school got the best of them. I felt guilty too – guilty that we weren’t really connecting.
So, instead of dwelling on this, I did the only thing I could: change things.
I made it a priority to spend some quality time with my children EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I made it simple and part of our routine so they knew what to expect and when to expect it. It became so common that now is part of our every day lives…
The most important thing you can do for your child every day, especially if they go to school, is to pause your life and give them 100% of your undivided attention (this means no cell phones or other distractions, just 100% of YOU), even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
This has made such a positive change in our lives – the kids are happier, I don’t feel guilty anymore, we get to truly connect, and this also means my kids listen to directions better and are a lot more helpful.
Here’s how we did it and how you can create a deeper connection with your child:
Every day after we get back from school, we put everything down, take our shoes off and go snuggle on the couch or bed while talking about our day. There’s something magical that happens when it’s just you and your children.
Granted, my kids are younger and they love to snuggle. If you have older children you can just sit next to them and have a chat.
It might feel weird or forced at first and that is okay. You might have awkward silences or won’t know what to do, but that’s okay. All that matters is that your child sees you are truly there, without any distractions, without your phone and without rushing.
You are simply there, listening, playing, talking, laughing, or sitting in quiet and truly seeing your child for who they are. Connecting on a deeper level.
You can’t do this if you’re feeling stressed, rushed or if your mind is elsewhere, because true connection comes when we can quiet our minds and just be present in the moment with our kids.
And, it is never too late to create a space where you can connect with your child and it is never too early! Even if you have young kids, create the routine of having this one-on-one connection because it will eventually become an important part of their lives.
Think of how this can fit in your current lifestyle. You don’t have to go out of your way, you can incorporate it during the time you’re at home, or by going out together. It can be snuggles, it can be tickles, it can be serious conversations, cooking together or just sitting next to each other. Be flexible, be open but be consistent in spending quality time together.
So, why is this is important?
Children learn best when they feel loved, children respect and understand better when they’re in a safe environment, children are more open to discipline when it comes from a place of love rather than anger.
Children, just like any other human being, prefer to talk to a happy, calm adult than a stressed-out one. And when they know they get this version of you every day, they will find comfort, love, and guidance in you. They will listen, they will trust, they will behave better and most importantly, they will know they can count on you. They will come to you when they need help.
This is what my mother did and to this day we are very very close. I knew that no matter what I could count on her, that I could tell her anything and she wouldn’t judge me. We had every day a special time when we hung out together and just chatted. Even on those day where I was a mean teenager, she was there, not forcing anything, just being present.
This made such a difference in my life. And it also made me come to my mom every time I needed advice and I needed help because after a while I truly understood she loves me no matter what and I can count on her like I can count on no one else.
When I asked her how she managed to create such a strong bond between us, she said: “I was always available when you needed me, even if the timing wasn’t entirely right for me because I understood the importance of our connection.”
When you take time out of your day to connect with your child, everyone in the family does better. There’s more peace, more understanding and more love.
This is the type of environment we all thrive in. Think about it, when you have to do something at work do you do it happily when your boss yells at you or when he talks patiently? Do you prefer to work for someone who appreciates you or someone who makes you feel rushed every time you talk to them?
A good rule to live by is to treat your children how you would like to be treated…and wouldn’t you love to know there was someone you could talk to every day, that truly cares about you, that will listen, advice you and comfort you, no matter what.
When we parent from a place of love, we can make a bigger impact in our children lives.
Trust your inner guidance. Tune out the outside voices. You know exactly what to do and what your child needs. So, stop reading this post and go kiss your child now.
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