5 Simple Ways to Reconnect With Your Child
With school, Distance Learning, right around the corner, children and families may be feeling anxious and nervous regarding the way this “new normal” is going to play out. Undoubtedly, last March, when traditional schools shut down, the educational world ignited into a tailspin, as districts, teachers, families, and students were scrambling, trying to figure things out. At that time, we were only aware of the tip of the Corona Virus iceberg. The world had no idea the amount of ice that was lying under the surface.
Through it all, the well-being of our students and their families remained our priority.
With that said, in these final weeks before school begins, you might be noticing your child wanting to cling to you a bit more. Some children may even be reverting to things they used to enjoy doing with you when they were much younger. In their minds, they’re likely going back to a time when the world felt more coddled and secure. This is normal.
Guess what? I also understand that parents are every bit as anxious and nervous as their children are… likely more so. In addition to the aforementioned, you’re the one that has magically put all the jagged puzzle pieces together— juggling work obligations, scheduling childcare, and the list goes on and on. In the rush of it all, here are 5 Simple Ways to Reconnect With Your Child.
- STORY TIME
Inviting your child to climb onto your lap or snuggle beside you to read a great story is unbeatable. Not only does it solidify the bonds between you, but it also introduces your child to a world of wonder and possibility. Whether you are choosing a favorite story or discovering a new one together, reading a book together is always a great way of connecting. Also, it only takes a few minutes.
To really enhance your time together, and to sneak in some learning, you can switch off reading each page, read in silly voices, and make story predictions, etc… All of these are key factors that will not only enhance your time together, but also reinforce those fluency and comprehension skills that are so important for your child’s literacy.
If you have an older child and they are way past enjoying picture books, chose an amazing chapter book to read together. Make it a new routine to read a chapter each night before bedtime. Favorite chapter books of mine include— The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Pax by Sara PennyPacker.
- BUTTERFLY KISSES
Oh… the bliss of a butterfly kiss or an Eskimo kiss, or… Studies consistently show that physical affection is so vital for a child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Loving and embracing your child helps build their confidence. When children feel secure at home, they are more likely to take chances at school and take chances in life.
Hey, if insects and Eskimos aren’t your thing, what about animals? Take turns with your child imagining and reenacting how various animals might hug or kiss. What about a frog hug? I think they might hop toward each other and “ribbitt”… or a chicken kiss?… or a penguin hug?
- SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THANG
Sometimes, you just need to get all the nervous energy out and wiggle. Dancing is a great restart, is fun to do, and TOTALLY counts as part of your cardio for the day. When you feel your child needs to be shaken up a bit, jolted out of their slump, turn on some dance music and go to town! Teach each other new moves. Take turns choosing your favorite songs and dance your buns off.
If you really want to jazz up your dance party, you can purchase a mini-strobe light from Walmart or Amazon for about $15.00. I have one. In times of stress, the light comes out and music turns up! Cheap and effective therapy.
- COOK TOGETHER
Since the beginning of time, families, cultures, and communities have always connected through food. There is something inherent and primal in all of us that craves that type of togetherness. For many families and people, food embodies love.
Bonding with your child over food is another choice activity. How about baking cookies? What about preparing and teaching them an old family recipe? Even better, how about creating a new family recipe? You can even give it a cool name.
Even if you end up burning the meal… you’ll still have a great story to share for years to come!
- TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
One of my favorite things to do with my dad as a child was to sit outside and watch the stars. If it was cold, we’d huddle up in a blanket and sip on hot chocolate. Our goal was to be the first one to find a shooting star. That was worth 10 points. Every star thereafter was 5 points. (Hey! Math!)
Anyhow, we had so much fun imagining possible worlds that existed above us, playing connect the dots with the stars to create funny images, and listening to the sounds of the night. In a nutshell, this time together was magical… and FREE!
Even though our world seems very uncertain right now, what is certain is how much you love and adore your children. Every day presents a brand new opportunity to reconnect by creating a new memory with them. Children need to know how much they are loved, valued, and appreciated. Positive energy is infectious and will undoubtedly spill over into your homes, creating a healthy space that is filled with peace, love, and acceptance.
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