Connection is one of the most important things of life. When you find ways to really connect with your kids it gives them what they truly crave: a sense of love and belonging. Here are a few ways to make this connection with your children:
LET THEM LEAD THE WAY:
If you know they are good at coloring, a specific dance move, or they know how to do something very well, praise them on it; let them know they did it well, and ask them if they could show you how to do it. This will not only build confidence in your child, but it can help show them you really care when they see you are genuinely interested in what they can do as a person.
TEACH THEM TO COOK:
Among other tips in my book, The Day I Took Off My Cape, I suggest parents create ways to split up the duties in the house so your little ones aren't bored while you are loaded with work . Involve them in the cooking Make it fun and don't let them just watch you do all the hard work, let them take part in the measuring and preparing. Perhaps you can teach them how to make their favorite meal. It may get a little messy and the clean up may take a little longer, but let them help in that too. Therefore, you not only teach them how to cook and create a sense of belonging but you also give them a sense of responsibility as well. It's amazing the love that grows in the kitchen while preparing a good meal together.
CONNECT THROUGH CONVERSATION:
There's no greater way to make your children feel valued than to listen to what they have to say. Find out what's on your children's minds and allow them to express how they feel, good, bad or indifferent. As a parent sometimes you have to start the conversation, other times they may come to you. This should start as early as they can talk so they get into the habit of expressing how they feel in a healthy way. Some conversation starters, "How was school?" "Anything good happen today?" "Anything bad happen today?" "Was there something funny that happened today?" Also when engaging in the conversations, take the opportunity to show your child you can relate. Let them know if something similar happened with you when you were their age. That's where the connection will come in and create the bond in your relationships with your child.
If you can give your kids a sense of confidence, a sense of love and belonging, your bond will not only be strong but most important, they will be greatly equipped for life and the true value of life's blessings.
Don't worry if you display a little vulnerability; it will teach your kids a valuable lesson. That is, when you do display vulnerability, you will have the ability to connect and uplift in ways that will go much further than "Do it because I said so."