How to Bond With Your Children
By Bill Parsons
Time spent with your children is time very well spent. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of our lives, but the bonds created by time spent together are priceless and cannot be put off until a later day. Children grow quickly as we all know and opportunities for bonding, once missed, cannot be recovered.
Spending time together as a family strengthens the family unit as a whole, indeed a worthwhile goal. However, it is equally important to spend time with each family member one on one to strengthen those individual relationships and build memories that will last your child through his lifetime. Think of this time as an investment in your children’s future.
Time together can be as simple as tossing the ball around in the backyard or playing a quick game of basketball under the hoop over the garage with your older child as long as there is opportunity for conversation. You can get portable and adjustable basketball hoops that will accommodate family members of every age and size. Older children also enjoy learning things from mom or dad and feel grown up when they are included in adult tasks.
Chores that they have not been assigned to regularly are more interesting to them than those that they have already learned and are expected to do independently. Allowing them to help you build or repair something is a surefire way to engage their interests and build their self-esteem. Allowing them to use those tools or equipment that are usually off limits is almost always a big hit.
On the other hand, reading age appropriate books that are just beyond your child’s reading ability is a great bonding experience. It also has the additional benefit of being educational. Board games are another great activity to enjoy with an older child. One on one games such as chess or checkers provide opportunity for bonding as well as teaching strategy and game skills.
If you want to see your younger child’s eyes light up, plop yourself down on the floor while he or she is playing. Young children live for the opportunity to include their parents in their games. While it is good for them to spend time playing independently, it is equally important for them to have a few minutes of time to just play. Young children need spend time playing in a way that does not impose rules on them. They need the freedom to create rules themselves. This type of play may be more challenging for parents as most of us have forgotten how to play, but give yourself time and opportunity, follow your child’s lead and you will catch on.
For tired parents of young children, a snuggle on the couch after the dinner with a favorite book will go a long way toward helping you reconnect with your little one at the end of the busy day.
Simple activities such as these are not only enjoyable for both you and your child now, but they will create memories and experiences that will help your child through the tumultuous teenage years, they will reflect fondly on them while at college and draw inspiration from them when they become parents themselves.
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