When we are so engrossed in our busy lives, we forget some important things along the way. We want them to have everything they want, and for that, we work hard and drown ourselves in work. But what we often miss is that they need their parents more than anything. They need to share a connection with you. But how? Don’t worry. Here are some easy ways in which you can bond with your child.
- Don’t judge and interrupt
When your children come to tell you something, listen to them. If they are telling you some funny story from school, or something about their friends, then don’t take this as an opportunity to lecture them. When they talk, give them your undivided attention. Don’t interrupt them for your work or something on the same lines. If you really have some urgent work, then tell them that before they start. And, when you are done with your work, make sure you go, and talk to them. This way, they know that you remember what they were saying. You just be your child’s vault. They must be able to unload any amount of sensitive information on you and get done with it, without the fear of judgment.
- Accept them
No one is perfect. Everybody comes with flaws, your children too. Don’t give them a hard time about their shortcomings. They will work on them when they start understanding. But, they will not appreciate it if you keep reminding them about it. Accept them as they are. Don’t try to change them, and make them fit in the box, which, you think, is right for the perfect children. They will feel more connected to you when they find acceptance.
- Confide in them
When you are your children’s vault, then they can become yours. Trust is a two-way road. You have to trust them, and them you. When children come to know that you trust them, it does wonders for your relationship with them. They feel important. Their self-esteem gets a boost, and so does their confidence. You have to give it everything you have. Be honest with them. Even if you have some embarrassing secrets, don’t hold back. They will find it easier to see you as a person and not just a parent.
- Have fun together
Now, having fun and having fun together are two completely different things. Taking them to an amusement park and letting them enjoy the rides they want while you go and have fun elsewhere or keep yourself busy with your phone is fun, no doubt. But where did you have fun with each other? Both of you are happy, but not because you spent time with each other.
So to have fun together, you can play games, watch their favorite shows, do some activities together. I remember when I was a kid, my mother and I were sick together. I had taken an off from school for three days, and she had also postponed her work. And we just sat there together and binge-watched cartoon network (and this was way before binge-watching was cool).
We discussed every show, talked about foolish things, and generally had fun ‘together.’ It is one of my fondest memory from my childhood. Even though it consisted of tasteless food, disgusting medicine, and a high fever, I was happy that I spent time with my mother.
- It is okay if they make mistakes.
Everybody makes mistakes. That is how we learn. And, children have a lot to learn, hence they will make a lot of blunders. But, don’t criticize them for it. They know they have made a mistake. You don’t have to pile on to their problems.
Don’t belittle them because they did something wrong. Instead, you can give them suggestions on how they can rectify their error. Here the keyword is “suggest.” Let them know that you are here if they need any help. But, don’t go putting out fires that they didn’t ask you to stop. It makes them feel that you don’t think they are not capable of solving their problems.
- They are not making excuses all the time.
Every child has different difficulties at a different time in their life. Each age group comes with its own set of problems. So, when they say they have issues to get a certain task done, they may not be bluffing all the time. They may really have a genuine problem.
Whatever it is, help them through it. When you have a connection with them, they don’t find the need to lie to you. Once you help them without questioning them, they will trust you more. And that will end the bluffing (if there was any in the first place).
- Spending a lot of time does not guarantee bonding.
Some very busy working parents have a great connection with their children despite having less time. So, it tells us a very crucial point. How much time you spend with them is not the question. What is of the essence is that how well you utilize the time you have with your children. Make most of every moment you have with your child.
- Have a special activity that you do together
Children like to know that you have a special ‘something’ that both of you do together. It is your ‘thing.’ Whenever one of you requires a pick-me-up, that activity is what you opt for to have fun. For example, we like watching cooking together. So, when I am stressed or have just completed my exams, we watch recipes online and make something together. This ritual is very special to both of us.
- Learn something from them
Children have a lot of exposure. And, because of that, they have knowledge of different fields that you can benefit from learning. Technology is certainly one of these domains. Learn from them about it. It improves their confidence, communication skills, and because they have to teach someone, they will put effort into learning and procrastinate less.
- Ask them for their opinion.
Children need to develop their thinking skills. They need to make decisions on their own. And for that, they need to work on this from an early age. Ask them for their views on any topic. May it be on house matters, or something you heard, or even a problem you may be facing at work. It lets them know that their thoughts have value too. And they form a connection with the person who respects their views, who, in this case, is you.
A connection takes time to grow and mature. There is no shortcut to all the good things in life. If you want something, then you have to work for it. A bond that has been nurtured with love and care with constant maintenance will stay strong when it is put to trial.