If you’re a parent and still considering something to improve on in the New Year then why not make the resolution to form a deeper bond with your kids?
Surely, all that work and material gain means absolutely nothing if you can’t find anything to talk about with your offspring and from spending more time away from the office to getting off that ‘smart’ phone or ipad, this is the year where you can really make a difference to your whole family.
Below are just a few helpful pearls of wisdom that I’ve gleamed from bringing up my own kids and if you can take some of the advice on-board and think up your own special variations then by this time next year you’ll be able to look back at 2014 as the year of togetherness.
As with all friends and partners if we have something that we both enjoy doing either alone or together then this automatically gives us a sense of bonding as we both understand certain things and share a common interest. This can be anything from sports or photography to model-making or painting and from the moment you both notice that familiar glint in each other’s eyes then you’ll know that the bond is already starting to take hold.
Back to Basics
If you’re not sure of what your offspring are into then first things first – find out! Getting back to basics means that you need to ask questions, pay attention or just watch what they get up to when left alone and before long you’ll be longing to get involved at ground level. Lego, Playdough and card games are all perfect examples of how you can share time with your kids and if you can just watch and listen without putting down too many rules & regs then you’ll both enjoy the time together.
Follow their Lead
As mentioned, watching your child at play and not interfering too much is always best advice. You know what it’s like when some smarty pants is always trying to tell you what to do when all you want to do is have fun and relax. Playing tea parties, exploring for bugs and going swimming are all great activities where you can follow your child’s lead and if they don’t want to do something don’t force them just be patient and they may surprise you by their actions.
Do something different
Marking a special occasion by doing something a bit different is always a good idea but why not do something new whenever you feel like it? Take a train to a big city or go to the theatre for the very first time or even start planning your grand American adventures for the future. All of these ideas present examples of breaking from the norm and if you’re bored with shopping at the supermarket followed by TV then they probably are too so do something about it.
Learn something New
Clay pot painting, circus training or even yoga can all be tried together as a parent and child which all adds up to a special or regular event that you’ll both be able to cherish forever. If you’ve always fancied doing something new then now is your chance and depending on the age of your child, learning together will help you to see the world from a different perspective which will no doubt deeper effect your level of bonding and understanding.
Have some Fun
At the end of the day, school is for learning, work is for making money and spending time with your kids is all about having fun. Get outside, rough & tumble or just kick the ball about in the garden because no sooner are you back to work or the holidays are over then the opportunity to just let loose and have fun together will be gone. Smile, laugh and be silly because your kids will definitely appreciate the lighter side of you and of course you will too.
Sticking the TV on all day is certainly not the best way to bond with your children however, if you’ve been outdoors playing or visiting grandma or shopping or whatever, when it’s cold and wet and windy there’s just something nice about snuggling up on the couch and sharing a bowl of popcorn. Watch a DVD that you’ll both like or attempt to understand one of their favourite programmes because at the end of the day we’re all different but if we can spend time together those differences will soon be the little things that we come to love, respect and bond with.