After a busy week unpacking a house, preparing for a 10th birthday and recovering from my husbands 40th, it is now time to get back to thinking about Christmas. I am starting to feel the time escaping pretty quickly, so this weeks post comes as a timely reminder for now and all those times when we as parents are super busy.
This week I have my first guest post, written by Janell Fowler. Janell is the owner of BabyButton, where she sells stylish and fun products for babies and children. She is also the creator of a unique range of breastfeeding covers which help maintain a bond between mother and baby while feeding. Today though she is sharing with us her 5 ways to help build a connection with our kids even when we are going a little pre-Christmas crazy.
I don’t know about you, but I can feel the pace of life getting faster each year. You get to the end of the day and although you’ve managed to get everything done – work completed, meals cooked, kids bathed and into bed – you can’t help but feel as though you haven’t done any of it very well.
That’s how we lose our connection with each other. It just stretches as we rush until it reaches the point where it can’t stretch any further. I don’t want that to happen to you, especially with your children.
I want to share with you 5 things that I have learnt to do, which help to build or maintain the connection with my child.
1. Connect early.
Even as a newborn, your child is able to feel a bond with you. Babies can see your face from the moment they are born. I’m sure you remember how you felt when your baby focused on your face for the very first time. Your baby had a similar response. Whenever you can, look your child or baby right in the eyes. You will feel the connection almost physically.
2. Feed together.
This might sound silly, but even when you breastfeed your child, you might not be together. Other things distract you, people talk, the TV is on and your attention wanders and baby is distracted. Feeding is a special experience and it’s a time when you can easily build your connection. Use a nursing cover to stop baby being distracted from feeding. It easily allows eye contact as you nurse. As your child grows, try to eat together as a family whenever you can. Connect as a family.
3. Let your touch speak.
Touch is powerful. You don’t need words. You don’t even need eye contact, sometimes. On those days when there are people pulling at you from all direction, let your child know that you are still with them, no matter what it looks like. You can do that with a cuddle or a stroke of the cheek when you are near them. You might even have a special kind of touch about which only you and your child understand the meaning. A stroke of the head or a tickle on the shoulder can be your secret connection.
4. Read a book together.
Before you tell me that you don’t have time, think about it. How long does it take you to get your child into bed? Really. Without having to keep coming in to settle them down? You could use that time to read a book together and skip all that stress. The books that are my favourites now are the books my mother read to me. I touch the book and I feel her presence. Reading a book together is fun, encourages your child to read, develops their imagination and adds to your special bond.
5. Be silly.
Play a game, share a secret word, hide in the cubbyhouse together, tell jokes, and tickle each other until you giggle. Watch your child’s face light up as you share time together.
Connecting with your child doesn’t take a lot of time. It takes love and repetition. Have fun while you build and strengthen your bond together.