Ask most parents and you’ll find that what we wish we had more of is connection with our kids. Because not much beats the feeling of your kids opening up to you about something that’s important to them. It’s not necessarily time in general either, but unfiltered, uninterrupted connection.
Contrary to popular belief, this connection doesn’t HAVE to be the result of carefully planned out and structured activity.
The other day, we dug into these never have I ever questions for kids in the car, and it was the best thirty minute car ride we’ve ever had. Not only did it produce giggles, but it opened up an entire world of new conversation. Plus, mom and dad could follow up with related questions that got everyone talking.
Because we just used questions on a phone, there was no planning or clean up. And we did it at a time when we were already together anyways. I urge you to use these moments at meals, in the car, or on your living room couch. It’s where the real magic of parenting happens and it can be used to your advange.
Here are four key points to connect with your kids quickly, and without the fuss!
Simply use a set of questions you find online like we did, or ask your own. You can’t go wrong in taking an interest in someone else’s day and life. Your kids will pick up on this, and before you know it they’ll be sharing about the things that are most meaningful to them.
Do you have chores to do? Need to get dinner made? Include them! Not only does this promote teamwork, but often it gives you a few minutes to talk about your day while getting a needed task done. The pressure is off of a child when they are focusing on a task at hand, and you may find that they tell you MORE because they have unintentionally let their guard down.
Utilize the Inbetween
Much of our free time has been sucked up by our phones in recent years. Did you know that the average person spends more than two hours a day on social media?
Instead, use your car and waiting time with your family to build your relationship. Play a game while you wait or discuss your favorite hobby. Use the spare time to teach your child something useful. It’s amazing what can come from the in-between time in your day.
And finally, the best way to connect with your child is to have the space to do so. When we pack our schedules from morning until night it leaves little unstructured time for true connection. Yes, it’s important to catch that Scouts meeting or get involved in soccer. But it’s also important to have at least a few nights a week when the family is together just hanging out. Take a walk. Play a game. Or just wrestle around on the floor. THIS is the time that your kids will remember into adulthood.
So, if you get nothing else from this article, PLEASE give your life the space it needs to connect in the first place.
There you have it! Use questions and short games when you can. Make space in your schedule for bonding, and don’t forget about the inbetween moments in your day.
My biggest dream as a parent is to have my kids feel deeply connected with me. It takes time, and a little work (though not as much as you’d think). We’re getting there little by little though.
What’s your grandest dream as a parent? I’d love to know!