Kids crave connection and belonging.
When they feel supported and loved by their parents, they are on top of the world! It’s important to try and make quality time and connection a priority. “The absolute easiest and most impactful thing a parent can do to create connection is to spend uninterrupted time with their child, even if it’s five minutes here or 30 minutes there; that time is valuable and you don’t want to lose those moments,” says Lena Pope therapist, Elizabeth Brown, LPC.
Uninterrupted time together means no distractions. A good practice is to leave your phone(s) in the other room, put chores on hold, and be fully present in the moment. If you are doing an activity together, let the child lead and educate you. “It’s important not to criticize, categorize, or suggest what they should be doing differently. Ask questions, and let their creativity drive the activity. This nonjudgmental presence creates an opportunity for a beautiful connection!“
Likewise, if you and your child are running errands or going to the grocery store – make it fun! Let your child pick out a game to play when you are shopping or driving, like counting all the Jeeps you see, or playing I Spy. Special moments can be created anywhere!
There are so many activities that families can do together. They don’t have to be well-planned or elaborate. Some of the best activities are simple, inexpensive and even spontaneous! Check out a few of our favorites:
- Go on nature walks. Visit a local park and explore! Observe the birds, bugs, plants, animals, trees, or clouds and then learn about them.
- Visit the library. Go for story time or check out new books. Pick a new theme every week based on your child’s interests! Reading is a great way to connect, and it encourages literacy, and emotional and verbal development.
- Have a picnic. Pack up lunch and take it outside! Turn off your phone(s) and enjoy a meal together under the sun.
- Bake or cook together. Let your child pick out a new recipe you can try. Let them help with the process and forget about the mess for now!
- Backyard Olympic games. The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games are here, so why not compete at home, too? Create your own Olympic games and invite friends and family to join in on the fun!