This month we’re delighted to have Family Day Mom Blogger, Amy Roskelley, discuss seven ways she connects daily with her kids. Amy blogs at Super Healthy Kids, where she shares ideas to help kids eat healthier food, and strategies for families to have more meals together! Check out the blog below!
It feels like overnight, my daughter went from following me everywhere I went like a shadow, to avoiding me because everything I do is “so embarrassing!” Why can’t I sing Wham’s ”Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” in front of her friends?
Seriously though, I remember thinking, “If she could just leave me alone for a few minutes, we’d all be in a better mood.” Now the tables have turned. I’d give anything to follow her around! I’m trying to hold on to every moment my kids will give me. There isn’t much time left and they’ll move out, and the house will be too quiet.
While vacation time gives us a chance to bond with our kids, they aren’t frequent enough for forming deep connections with them. Connecting with your kids daily, however can have a huge impact! I’ve identified 7 things we can do every day to connect. These 7 things won’t take much time or cause too much teenage distress, but at the same time, will help us reconnect as often as we can.
The easiest way for me to connect each day with my kids is at meal time. They just keep coming back to the house to eat, no matter where they’ve been! I couldn’t be happier. I love sitting around the table and asking about their day. They put their phones away for at least 15 minutes and have a conversation with me. Every summer we are a host family for a high school student from a small city in Japan. They go to classes during the day, but they often join us during the evenings for dinner. My kids love that we do this, and it gives us a chance to learn about another culture together!
No matter what time the kids get home at night, we are waiting for them. It wouldn’t feel right to go to bed and not know if they’ve made it home safely, so we’ve always had them check in at night. This gives us a chance to connect one last time and know they can talk to me if they need to talk.
Kids are never too old for hugs! What a fabulous way to connect every single day! Kids need affection from their parents. They need human touch, and they need to feel love and acceptance. This can literally be all communicated with a meaningful hug!
4) Be at the crossroads
We call the “crossroads” the place where the kids come and go. Whether it’s leaving for school in the morning, coming home in the afternoon, coming home from a date or work, it’s important to be at those intersections. Can you stick around to see the kids off to school, or can one parent be home when they return? As many crossroads as you can be at, the better. Kids feel safe when they know a parent will be there.
5) Prayers or other rituals
Whether you are religious or not, families have rituals that strengthen bonds and relationships. For us, it’s prayer. When we can give our thanks before a meal or before bedtime together, we connect!
The kitchen is the hub of our home. At any given moment, you will find at least one of us there. Usually it’s me! But often, the kids will want to cook with me, especially if we’re baking cookies. They know, the child that helps, is also the child that gets to lick the bowl. Cooking truly gives us a chance to talk, without any awkwardness whatsoever.
I saved cleaning for last, because although it’s not our teenagers’ favorite activity, we feel strongly that a family that works together is happier! Work instills confidence and self-esteem in kids. Working together as a family, helps us to grow in this way, together.
So, as you can see, we don’t have to take a trip to Hawaii to connect with our kids. We can connect every single day. And whether it’s over food, fun, or even hard work, everything you do with your kids brings you closer together.