Day by day we do our best to raise our kids to be great people, but do we ever really take the time to bond with them?
The time we spend with our kids is limited these days. And like most parents, I find myself doing my best just to get my daughter dressed and to school on time each morning. It’s an added bonus if we have time for a home-cooked meal at the end of the day.
But with the chaos that life these days throws at us, one thing we often forget to do when spending time with our kids is actually forming a bond with them.
Bonding with our kids can make them more confident and in turn be more compassionate to others. So when life gets in the way, here are some great ways you can easily bond with your kids.
8 super easy ways to bond with your child
Write them Post-It Notes
A few times a week, I have to go to work really early. Like before anyone in the house wakes up. So I leave little messages on post-it notes for my daughter. Sometimes they are messages of love, and sometimes they are just something silly. Either way, she knows I’m thinking about her.
In turn, my daughter will sometimes leave ME notes and no matter what they say, they make my day. So if a note here or there from my daughter makes me feel that way, imagine how SHE feels everytime she gets a note?
She actually loves her post-it notes so much, she started collecting them in a jar (her own idea!) and now if we have a fight, I remind her to look through the jar of notes. So she won’t have any problem remembering how much she means to me.
Have a private spot
You know that formal living room that no one uses and most people think is a waste of space? Its become our favorite spot in the house. A couch in that room has become our “talking couch”. It’s private, cause no other family member goes in there. And it’s free of distractions, no TV, no computers. So we can concentrate on each other.
Sometimes we sit on the talking couch for serious issues or even bad behavior. Other times we run to the couch because she has some BIG news to tell me (like when her crush asked to sit next to her at lunch). It’s become our special spot.
I’m not going to bore you with all the articles and studies that say exactly why physical touch is so important. What I will tell you is that it is easy to see the difference in kids who are given lots of physical touch from their parents and kids who don’t.
That’s not referring to physical affection, but rather just simple touch. Touch on a shoulder, a hand on their arm. When we watch tv next to each other, I try to make it a point to have some part of my body touching my daughters. Even if it’s just knee to knee.
Any time you can give physical contact to your kid, do it. Even a pat on the head, or a quick squeeze of a hand. This simple gesture is an extremely easy and important way to bond with your child.
Art or Music
It’s no secret that art and music are great ways for any age to relax and destress. So why not pick up a crayon and draw a picture with your kids? Or just chill and listen to their favorite song for a few minutes.
My daughter and I share in the love of Taylor Swift. We talk about her, we sing her music together and even got to attend her concert here in Phoenix recently. We found something we both like and turned it into something we LOVE because it made us closer.
Another great Parenting read: 20 Easy Ways to Be a Fun Mom
Go on a Date Night with your child
This is one of my favorite activities that I hope to keep up long into my daughters adult years. We try to have a night together, just the 2 of us, once a month or so. Nothing fancy, just dinner and a movie. Sometimes mini golf, or even just walking around the mall together.
We even coined a phrase for it… “Mommy and Abby’s night of fun!” Not the most creative thing but we do sing it in a fun way. Our mommy daughter dates are often something we BOTH look forward to.
Take a walk
Nature can do a body wonders. Fresh air can be essential to a stressful day at school for your kiddos. Get out of the house and take a walk. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes at a slow pace.
You don’t need to be too active with it. It just creates some time to be alone, away from electronics, and an opportunity to talk together. When there are no distractions around, you will be surprised how much your kids tell you. Keep that communication open.
Just as art and music can be great bonding activities, cooking together can be as well. Yes, I know kids can make a HUGE mess when they try to help you cook a meal. So don’t necessarily have them help with something like dinner when the stress of it will make things worse.
Instead, carve out a little time to make something quick and easy together. It can be anything from a sandwich to an easy batch of cookies that only requires adding water. We still break out the easy bake oven every once in a while… those snacks are not half bad!
Reading is just a great activity overall. Encouraging your kids to read has so many benefits, this really should be at the top of the list. Reading together can mean you grab a book your child loves and have them read it to you.
It can also mean you each read a book yourself but spend time sitting next to each other reading. You don’t always have to be talking or doing something. Sometimes just being together can create a bond with your child.
My daughter got this book as a gift when she was born and to this day is both of our favorites. Even though it’s a baby book, it has special meaning to us and we enjoy reading and singing along with it even as she gets older.
Looking for other great ideas you can enjoy with your kids? Try these Fun Indoor Activities For Bored Kids.