4 Tips for Connecting 1:1 With Your Kids

Mother and two daughters cuddling and laughing in bed
Mother and two daughters cuddling and laughing in bed

Let's Reconnect

We’ve all seen it. Parents sitting at the park, on their phone while their children are playing. A family out for dinner taking pictures of their plated food for IG, while kids are entertaining themselves on their own devices while they wait. People walking down the street, sitting in a park, browsing through the mall, sitting in a coffee shop - always connected to the one thing that ironically prevents real connection. The whole world is looking down, into their hands, all the time. Or distracted in a thousand other ways as well. Sometimes missing all the real-life living that is happening around them. Add that to the busy demands that families face with parents working, juggling childcare and everyday life responsibilities – it can often feel like there’s not much time left to genuinely connect as families.

Maybe it’s time that we started to look up and around more. Here are a few simple family challenges for this fall to help you reconnect with your kids, and have some great time together. Easy and fun ideas that you don’t have to think too much about it.

So, what do you need to do? How can we get back to connecting? It’s not as hard as you might think.

1. Put your phone down

Ok, take a few breaths. It can sound scary, but there really is so much fun to be had when we completely disconnect! We can survive for moments, hours, even a whole day without being on our phone. Make some time this fall, for screen-less family time. The weather is beautiful (no more hot muggy days!) and it’s the perfect time to get outside and explore as a family before the cold winter days set in. Go for walks, and head to the park every chance that you get. Look for local trails and spots for exploring and get out there! Pack a picnic lunch and take a couple hours together, away from all the distraction. Create moments to remember. You can do all of these things, without a phone!

2. Get Creative

There’s so much creative fun to be had in the fall with your kids. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:

Make a thankful pumpkin! For the month of October, each day choose something you are thankful for as a family and write it on a large pumpkin with a sharpie! So easy, and fun to read over each day as a reminder – not to mention a great centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.

Collect leaves! Foraging is in style. Grab a bag, and get outside and let your kids collect branches, sticks, maple leafs, rocks and whatever else they might find! You can then make them into collages, or use them as stamps for painting. Get creative with nature.

Try a new recipe together! Letting kids experiment in the kitchen can get messy and sometimes a little chaotic, but they will never forget those times together. Find a healthy fall muffin recipe, or apple crumble and get those little helper hands mixing, pouring and stirring! Kids love time in the kitchen and it’s a great time to connect.

3. Let your kids choose activities they like!

Kids love to be involved. Include them in choosing family activities. Maybe on weekends you let each child take a turn deciding on their favourite park to visit. Or, write down some favourite family activity ideas on little slips of paper and put them in a bucket, and let the kids pick one each weekend. Whatever they pick – that is the adventure for the day that everyone will do! Create a sense of excitement when it comes to spending time together. Value those family moments and let everyone be part of creating them. Kids love to be part of decision-making, and it make them feel special and valued.

4. Affirm them

Speaking of value, always take time to let your children know how much they mean to you. When they do something well, tell them you appreciate it. When you see them putting in extra effort, say thank you. If you see something they are improving on, acknowledge their progress. While you can’t always choose or control the interactions that your children will have with other people outside your family, you can make sure that home is their favourite place. Where they know they are valued, special and loved. The confidence of knowing that, will help them as they grow and develop throughout their lifetime. And those moments of affirmation will help you grow close, and stay connected.
As parents we have the amazing chance to impact the lives of our kids. Connecting with them, is such a big part of that. Take time today, to think about how you can make time with your children the best part of their week, and yours too!
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