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I still remember some of my childhood memories I cherish a lot were those that I spent enjoying stories from my mum.
These days, parents hardly spend time with their children.
Decades back, parents were not as busy as they are these days. Then, most mothers were stay-at-home mothers and they spent a lot of time with the children, caring, nurturing and bonding with them.
The story is different these days. In this generation, we hardly have stay-at-home mothers and both parents are actively involved in making money in order to make ends meet. This has affected the family unit a lot. Also, the present economic situation has further reduced the amount of time parents spend with their children.
Unlike before, child care is highly outsourced these days to house helps, nannies, after-schools and crèches.
One may then ask:
Is it possible to bond with your children in the midst of all these challenges facing the survival of the family unit?
I answer a big YES to that question.
The following are ways you can bond better with your children:
- Interact with them while they prepare for school: If your schedule allows you to spend some time with them while they prepare for school, maximize such periods through positive interaction.
- During morning drop-off and after school pick-ups: If you still enjoy the privilege of dropping off or picking your children from school (that is, if it has not been outsourced), then maximize it and get into their world by asking them about their expectations and plans for the day and later, how they spent the day at school.
- Tolerate and accommodate their interruptions when you are with them: Children can be experts at interruptions and most of the time, we tend to shut them up and insist they observe etiquette behavior of not interrupting adults. However, allowing such interruptions (even as we correct them in love) can go a long way in convincing our children that we are available for them and that they can approach us anytime. This also helps to improve bonding and parent-to-child friendship..
- Involve them in doing some house chores: Doing some house chores together with your children does not only encourage bonding but also teaches them great life lessons. Even if you have domestic servants, you can still involve your children in some domestic activities in order to help them live a balanced life. This is important because every domestic activity a child does teaches the child priceless life lessons.
- Carry them along during your weekend exercises: Exercising and doing work-out together with your children can be a lot of fun. Once in a while, I play football with my children and they always look forward to such times with much fun and excitement. You know what? Even if you play as badly as I do, children won’t care and they will still have great fun (smiles).
- Share at least one meal of the day with your children: Meal time can be great fun when shared together as a family.
- Correct your children in love: Children can be quite annoying sometimes and you can be pushed to go overboard in disciplining them. However, we need to discipline them in love, not in anger. Beyond the discipline, it is always good to make them understand why they are being disciplined.
- Take them out once in a while: You don’t need to break your pocket to do this. It can be a family picnic, outing or even having family time at home. This should be child-centered. Allow them to freely express themselves and get to hear their views on different issues. Try it and see. You will be surprised how much they know!
- Get to know their friends: This is more applicable to older children. Friends influence themselves a lot and getting to know your children’s friends will help you to know the kind of influence your children are exposed to outside your home. This will also make them understand that you are interested in their world and will make them to open up to you more.