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Small but Powerful ways to increase Connection with your Child

Children need to know that we delight in them and enjoy spending time with them to feel good about themselves and thrive. A close bond with our child helps us to see things from their point of view and makes them much more likely to cooperate with us.

There are no 'parenting skills' that can take the place of a strong parent-child bond, it's an essential part of parenting and nothing will 'work' without it. When things feel hard with your kids, if they are misbehaving, the first thing to do is always to add more moments of connection to strengthen your relationship with them.

There are so many daily pressures on parents to get everything done and be productive and as a result, days can go by in a blur. It is so important for ourselves and for our kids to find ways of slowing down, being present and building in connection time to your daily routine. This is how we make the most of these precious years before they pass us by all too quickly. Doing this needn't take a lot of time, and it can save time in the long run because kids are much more likely to listen to us and cooperate when they feel connected to us.

Making sure your relationship with your child stays strong is protective too; for instance there are many studies revealing that teenagers who have a close relationship with their parents are less likely to be affected by peer pressure and remain more open to their parents guidance.
It's never too late to improve your relationship with your child and small acts of love can go a long way. Try adding connection into your daily routines with your child and watch how your days become easier and more joyful.

Here are some ideas:
  1. Put a note on their pillow, in their backpack or in their lunchbox

  2. Tell them a story from when they were a baby

  3. Look at family photos together

  4. Give them a foot rub or back rub while you listen to them tell you about their day

  5. listen to them without giving advice

  6. Tell them you missed them while they were at school (or asleep)

  7. Spend 10 minutes 1:1 playing with them everyday doing something they want to do and focus all your attention on them (no screens).

  8. Spend 5 minutes snuggling with them every morning and evening - or whenever!

  9. Tell them a joke

  10. Read them a story

  11. look at them lovingly in the eyes

  12. Watch one of their shows with them

  13. roughhouse with them to get them laughing - this energises us too!

  14. Bake with them

  15. Go to brunch together at the weekend

  16. Give a hug

  17. Tell them what you appreciate about them

  18. Tell them you are so happy to see them when they return from school/daycare/college

  19. Ruffle their hair

  20. Smile

  21. Be silly and playful whenever you can

  22. Empathise with them, you don't have to agree.

  23. Have a staring contest or thumb war (let them win)

  24. Tell them something from when you were a child

  25. share a happy memory about your child with them

  26. Make a routine task into a game

  27. Tell them that you will never love anyone more than you love them.

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