Sharing a connection with our loved ones is important for supporting a healthy relationship. Learn 7 ways to connect with your child in today’s post.
Think about all the people you know. Now, think about the difference in each relationship.
Notice the different connections between you and a coworker compared to you and your family.
Every relationship stands on some kind of connection so it’s easy to assume that each connection needs to be worked on and nurtured.
I think it’s safe to say that our connections with the family in our home are most important. While caring for a newborn I felt a strong connection that didn’t need much working on. Now that my baby is getting older I’m noticing it’s more and more important to intentionally work on and nurture our mother-child connection.
Let me share 7 ways to connect with your child on a deeper level no matter their age.
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Connect every day
These are ways you can connect every day, all day long. You probably already do most of these things without realizing it but it’s helpful to point them out so you can zero in and do it with intent.
Making eye contact is something I struggle with. It seems so odd to say out loud. Direct eye contact is one of the deepest forms of connection/communication and that’s why it’s so important to utilize it with your children. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Eye contact is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to motherhood. Asking your child to look at your eyes captures their attention so they can better listen and not just ‘hear’ your words.
Say “I love you”
I think we all know how important this one is. It goes hand-in-hand with the eye contact.
As a child things can be pretty confusing and quickly become frustrating. Children don’t always know how to tell us when they’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s often expressed by bouts of anger and frustration.
Telling your child you love them may just be the calm connection they need in a storm they don’t know how to navigate through. Say it with intent and say it often. No child ever grows up angry that their parents told them “I love you” too often – but they might grow up and wish they heard it more often.
Get in the floor to play
I find that when Brody is being loud and acting upset it’s often because he’s needing a little extra attention. That’s why he’s screaming right? He wants to be heard. I don’t believe he is only trying to be a brat or make me mad. He’s a baby, he doesn’t know what it means to be annoying on purpose.
It’s important to stop what I’m doing and get in the floor to play with him when he’s yelling for attention. Dishes can wait until later and my blog posts don’t have deadlines.
Playing with my baby helps me understand and develop his new skills. He’s always overly excited when I get in the floor with him. It’s an instant switch in attitude from yelling and whining to all smiles and laughs. It’s literal music to my ears and I’m happy to stop what I’m doing to give him my undivided attention.
Play games together
This goes hand in hand with playing in the floor. Take time to play one of their favorite games!
When I’m in the floor with Brody I love to sit him in front of me and hold his hands to play Pat-A-Cake. He quickly smiles with all 4 teeth. It’s my favorite thing ever!
Maybe you child loves to do giant puzzles so take a moment to pull one out and work on it together. It doesn’t take very much time at all and your child will feel a connection as you sit in the floor playing. They notice and appreciate it when we stop what we are doing to give them our attention even if they don’t know how to say it to us.
Connect every evening
Below I list the last three ways I connect with my child every evening. These are super easy ways to open up and just be in the moment with your kids.
This is one of my favorites!
The best time for me to do this is when Brody is sleepy and relaxed.
Evening time is my favorite part of the day. We have a specific routine and we both always look forward to it. Between getting in pajamas and actually lying him down for sleep we have a series of things we never forget to do.
Rocking him and running my fingers through his hair is the best way to incorporate that gentle touch of connection. He loves to touch my face and explore all my facial features. Most nights he touches my nose and ends up putting his hand in my mouth LOL! It’s this soft, sweet exploration that allows us to slow down and connect with a gentle touch. I’ll miss this some day!
Review your day
At some point in our evening routine I slow down to review our day. He obviously can’t talk yet and doesn’t understand most words that come out of my mouth but I think it’s important to hold conversation with him.
Whether he’s in the bathtub or nursing before bed, I like to discuss what we did that day and talk about his feelings. Here’s an example of the conversation:
“Did you have a good day today, baby? You got to go for a morning walk and then we swam in the pool for an hour. It was nice to get outside and soak up some sunlight, huh? You had super yummy snacks and you got to see Grandma today. You took 2 really good naps and played extra hard. What a good day!”
It seems so corny writing it out but I love to connect with my baby in conversation and I hope it never goes away! I hope he’s 12 years old and still wants to review his day with me before bedtime. I love to cultivate good communication with him because it’s such a great way to connect and relate to each other – even at such a young age.
Every single night, the last thing we do before bed is say a prayer and read a section from My First Bible and Prayers book. Again, my baby can’t speak yet but I always pray with him.
This is a very vulnerable way to connect with your children. Prayer doesn’t have to be formal or follow any specific outline. It’s real and raw and personal. I love to share that vulnerability with my baby to show that it’s so easy to open up and lay it all out for God to handle.
As I pray with Brody I thank God every night for the opportunity to be a mother to such an amazing baby. I thank him for a wonderful husband and father to Brody. I pray for Brody, currently for his teething pain and his anger/frustration that comes with learning new things. Then I always ask for patience as a mother and wife. I top off each nightly prayer asking God to watch over our loved ones and then pray for anyone needing specific help.
Like I said above, this is such a great way to show our baby that vulnerability is important and it’s okay to share that side of yourself with others.
I hope you found some new ways to connect with your child no matter their age. Customize your connections based on your child’s wants and needs – we all know they’re ever changing as they grow.
Practice these simple ways to connect with your children and reflect on how it’s helping your relationships too.