Parenting Dilemma: Connecting with Your Children
Those who have already assumed this role know that parenting is, without a doubt, the most difficult job in the world. You can read, learn, and seek the advice of professionals, but even then, there is no way for you to be 100% prepared for this endeavor before jumping right in. Learning the ropes of parenting is a long process and even after having one, two or three children, your learning journey will not be over. You will find yourself facing new dilemmas and new obstacles, each time different than the previous ones.
One of the biggest dilemmas parents have is related to connecting with their children. Especially today, when most of us have a lot on our plates, the lack of time can make it difficult to really bond with our little ones and this might make you feel anxious. After all, they grow up so fast. So, if you are having the same dilemma, here are a few ways in which you can better connect with your children and nurture a meaningful relationship.
The question of time
As already mentioned, time issues will cause one of the biggest dilemmas to parents. You might be busy, but multitasking and not devoting your full attention to your child when they need you will sooner or later put a distance between the two of you. Children will feel if you are not entirely there, and they will also feel if you are putting them first. The latter will make them feel important so they will be more likely to open up to you.
So, make sure that when it’s time to listen to your child’s day and their woes and worries, you turn off your tech devices and forget about your notifications for a short while – it will go a long way. Even if you are really busy throughout the day, find ten minutes here and there and let your child know that you’re all theirs. Make these short one-on-one times meaningful.
Listening to them
We just mentioned giving your child your full, undivided attention. But that’s not the end of the story. When your child is telling you something, make sure you truly listen to them and try to understand them. Empathy is what’s going to connect the two of you and better your relationship. Children can make a fuss for seemingly unreasonable things, but that’s just because of how they are. You have to approach their strong emotions with understanding. Instead of just telling them to stop crying or scolding them for throwing a tantrum, ask them why they feel that way.
Communication is key and building your relationship on it will nurture trust and openness in your child as they grow older. Being empathetic with your child consistently will make them less likely to hide things from you in fear of being punished later on, as well.
Bonding by playing
Playtime is an extremely important thing for children. It’s not only for fun – playing is their way of learning about the world and developing their skills. Therefore, taking your part in this is an amazing way to bond with your child. Having fun together and roughhousing, as well as the little inside jokes you come up with while playing, will bring you closer together and allow your child to relieve anxiety, which will make him less likely to act out.
For babies and toddlers, colorful toys that can teach them about shapes are invaluable for their development. For bigger kids, toys that allow for their creativity to bloom are the best. You can even find a hobby that will be a fun and creative way to spend time together, such as building your own town using model railway supplies or doing different kinds of arts and crafts. Just make sure the toys you pick out are age-appropriate for your child.
Connecting with your child really boils down to one thing: being there for your little one. Devoting time to their needs, listening to them, spending time together playing, having an outing, or even simply doing chores and other mundane things together in a fun way will help you bond with your child and build a strong relationship. Nurture their emotional needs, be empathetic, and make sure they know that you are on their side while allowing them to be their own person and you won’t have to worry.