You and your spouse may both be working and your child has started primary school. Everyone seems to have their own schedules and work to do. But we know regular communication and bonding with your child is important in developing the parent-child relationship. Here are six simple ways to connect and have a close bond with your child – making parenting easier!
1. Sit Down With Your Child
This sounds simple. But very often, parents are multi-tasking or walking around, while a child is trying to communicate or get their parent’s attention. Be attentive and make eye contact. Five minutes of your undivided attention with your child is better than 15 minutes of distracted communication.
2. Read Together
Establish a habit of reading together. You get to snuggle together and enjoy a good story at the same time. Reading also strengths your child’s linguistic development, talk about added benefits!
3. Family Games
Whether it is board games, ball games, sports or even computer games, the key is to play together as a family. As the saying goes, “The family that plays together stays together.”
4. Schedule Family Mealtime
Turn the television off. Remove phones and gadgets from the dining table and plan to have family mealtime together. Fix a time when everyone in the family can join in. If working parents find it difficult during the weekday, schedule family mealtime for the weekend. Eating together is not just about food. This is a time when a parent and child can have a conversation, provide affirmation and encouragement, and problem solve.
5. One-On-One Dates
Each parent can make special one-on-one dates with your child to do something that they would enjoy. Not only does this make your child feel special, but it gives you a perfect opportunity to get to know your child better.
6. Cook Or Bake Together
Too often, adults worry about the mess children will make, or that the food will not turn out well. If your goal is to bond with your child, the process is definitely more important than the end result. Start off by cooking breakfast with your child on weekends, or during the school holidays. Alternatively, try and figure out an easy recipe and you’ll enjoy make it with the kids.
Originally published in “Bond With Your Child”, in Singapore’s Child December 2014.