A while ago I was writing a post on how to connect with my kids but put it aside because I thought it would be a mute point. On recent days I think differently, I guess is due to all that has happened with kids this year, school shootings, kids getting together to protest for something they believe but at the same time more and more division towards something different. With so many issues it just makes a parent think, ” how can I help my kid through all the changes they will go in their lives in a way that they feel confident?”. How do I CONNECT with them so they don’t feel they have to go through situations alone, no matter if they are happy moments, moments of anger, of confusion, of being scared, of feeling different.Whatever it is I want them to know that WE ARE HERE AND WE LISTEN TO THEM.
I have felt at times relieved that I don’t have a middle or high school age kids yet. Then I think that if I wait to start connecting with them at that age, then I’ve already LOST the battle. I have to start now with my 6, 4 and 1 year old. But how? if they only tell me “good” when I ask them what they did at school. Even though I have a long way of trials and errors with my three little ones, I share 5 ways to connect with your kids that have already helped me.
5 Ways to Connect with your kids
Ask random questions
Instead of the normal how did you do today at school? were it will only be answered with ” Good” “Fine” and all the varieties. Embrace random questions, I read about it here and loved the approach. My favorite random questions are:
- What was the funniest thing you saw today?
- Did something sad happened at school to you or a friend?
- Who did you sat with today at lunch?
- Who did you play with today? What? Was it fun?
I try not to bombard them all at once but during the afternoon I get to ask them.
2. Playing Board Games
When my kids are too distracted or just going bunkers I sit down with them and play board games. This helps me with he following:
- Get them to cool down and rest.
- Get them to focus. Especially boys, their brains can only do one thing a time. This is not a bad thing it is just that as a mom you need them to focus to be able to connect with them.
- Now that they are focused! I get to converse with them, ask the random questions that I mentioned before.
- Create a bond and quality time. This is a win win for me, I get them to trust me and also create memories!
Some of our favorite board games are:
3. Dance, be silly, loose yourself!!
Some days the minds are tired but the bodies are just going a million miles per hour. My house can get rowdy and I either have two choices:
- Stress myself until exhaustion (which I have done in the past) or
- Join them and make it even rowdier. But make sure to really loose yourself, they will enjoy it. We play zombies!! what about you?
4. Go for a walk or park
If #3 was not for you on a certain day, might as well leave the house! Make them walk or go to the park, even better make them walk to the park, Hahaha! But use your time wisely, you can really be present and talk to them about anything while you are out of the house . It is about making a connection that lasts.
Now 5, and for me the most important!!
5. Share your day with them
Oh my! I read this for older kids and was like let me give it a try and have to say it was the best, we were sitting for dinner and I just decided to start sharing my day to them. While talking with them I honestly shared:
- What did I do.
- Did I have a fun day or not so much.
- Did I met any new friend or went for a coffee.
- If I was tired.
- Did I learned something new.
- Did something happened that was funny or sad and so on…..
After I finished, my eldest just started talking about his day, without even me asking. And then my middle and then my youngest just babbled because she is 1! Haha. I just found it amazing that by me opening up they would open up too.
I know, in my case I still have a long way to go! Things can change for the better or worst and I will have to change my ways to be able to keep connecting with them. I find that connection between parents and kids is such an impact on their future, for the good or the bad. I can only hope that I am doing the best that I can do for my children for them to realize that one day their future will depend on their actions. Actions that have consequences, consequences that can make them or break them.
How about you? What are your techniques to connect with your kids? Let me know,the more I know the better!