As parents, bonding with your child can be a holistic experience. You enable the both of you to create memories and have common shared experiences that help the two of you establish a bond. Many parents struggle to connect with their children because of the wide generational gap. Though, you can quite easily bridge this gap with simple activities and understanding.
Here are 10 enjoyable ways to express love to your children:
Once a week, give a happy surprise to your child; a special something. It can be material or non-material. For example, an unexpected craft you do together, perhaps something seasonal, is always fun.
2. Learn something new together once a week
Research a subject on the internet that you’re both interested in and print off information to discuss, for example, the pyramids of Egypt, ecology, stamps, lighthouses, how to draw a dog, and windmills etc. Or, find a library book on a subject you both would enjoy learning more about. Do an art project or write a story together about your new learning that you can share with friends and other family members. Increasing your time together and your child’s awareness are both actions of love.
3. Peace table
Designate a space in your home as a peace table to work through disputes and hurt feelings. When two family members are having a problem, they must resolve it at the peace table. The rules are very simple and follow the guidelines of conflict resolution.
Both of you will briefly describe what happened and how you felt. Each person must listen to the other and not call names, just tell their side. Then, come up with a method to resolve the problem. Finally, come to an agreement about the situation (including apologies) that feels acceptable to the other person.
All of this is done in 3-4 minutes. This keeps you and your child on task and results-oriented. The goal is resolution, and each party is responsible for making that happen. Doing it in a short time brings fast results and success. This works! Try it! You can decorate the area with your children’s drawings or other artwork of peace, as it sets the mood.
4. Create an art wall in your home
Have your children choose their favourite work from that week and frame it with construction paper so that it’s special. This gives recognition to your child, which is a form of love. Also included on the art wall can be awards, book reports, happy grams from teachers etc. This builds esteem and reminds kids what they’ve accomplished week to week. Visitors often add their compliments too.
5. Give choices
As often as possible, give your kids choices. Even if it’s just choosing the order of doing things such as saying, “do you want to have a snack first or clean up your room first?” “which online gift store birthday item do you think would be best for your friend, a board game or a hockey stick?” giving choices helps your children feel respected, not coerced, and helps them learn decision-making skills too. As kids practise making decisions, they develop a strong sense of self. It empowers them, and they also learn to make good decisions in the process of trying various choices.
6. Give help
Ask what your child needs help with once a week, apart from normal everyday events that call for assistance. It can be helped with learning to bounce a yo-yo, taking over their task of feeding the pets while they attend a special event after school, helping them learn to dance etc. In return, ask your child to help you with something that is not a normal chore for them, such as rubbing the sore muscles in your back, riding their bike to the mailbox to send a letter for you, polishing your silver for a special party etc. This mutual caring and responding to another person’s need express love. Reciprocal help demonstrates fairness, another aspect of love.
7. Volunteer with your kids
There are many places in your town and area to volunteer with kids. You teach a broader love here, with concern for and actions of help for others. Teaching kids to make a habit of contributing to their community and the larger world is a major act of love.
These simple moments that you share with your children helps you nourish their behaviour and teach them all the important aspects of life. That is how you and your child bond with mutual feelings of love.