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Having a close relationship with your child has a lot of benefits so making time to bond with your child is crucial. Children who feel a strong connection with their parents want to cooperate and willingly follow rules. It also helps to build trust which is essential for a strong lifelong bond. Quite often, we get caught up in regular, daily chores like feeding our children, changing them, bathing them and putting them to bed. To establish a connection, you will have to develop a few habits that will encourage connection between you and your child. Here are a few things you can start with.
- 12 hugs a day - hug your child whenever you get the chance. In the morning, evening, night or anytime in between!
- Give them your undivided attention - to have a good relationship with your child, make time for them rather than squeeze time with them in with another task. Leave what you are doing and devote that time to them. when you want to focus on bonding with your child, make sure that is the only thing you are focusing on. Children notice a lot more than they show so make sure they get your undivided attention. Phones, laptops and tablets should be put away .
- Listen - be a good listener. You want to be that person that your child comes to when they need help and advice so try not to say too much. This will encourage them to continue to talk to you and come to you when they have issues. Connection starts with listening so listen with your whole body, not just your ears.
- Play - let loose and enjoy yourself. Playing and laughter releases endorphins and can help both you and your child forget about other anxieties and focus on bonding.
- Bedtime cuddles - Before your child goes to sleep is a great time to snuggle up and connect. Talk about how their day went, any concerns they may have or tell them a short story.
- Be there - be present and enjoy every moment that you spend with your child. It's not only about the quantity of time you spend with your child, the quality is just as important. Read a book, cook with them, tell each other stories and enjoy each other's presence.
- Respond with interest - when your child shows you what they are colouring or tells you a joke, that is their way of reaching out to you. Showing interest is a small interaction that adds up to build a strong relationship.