3 Easy ways to connect with your child

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Being a parent is busy! It can be a full time job and that’s not including working outside the home and the chores that need doing around the house.  
How can we connect with our children or make our children feel important when we are so busy?  Hopefully these few things may help you to connect with your child in just a few minutes a day.  Some may seem bizarre but have fun trying them out anyway.

I have three boys and most conversations or experiences they want to tell me about revolve around superheroes or gaming. Being a mum to three boys also means I might hear three different versions of the same thing... and sometimes all at once too.   Here are some things that have helped me deal with the times when they really want me to listen.

1)      To really connect with your child you need eye contact when they are talking, even if for a few seconds. It’s easy to say ‘ah-ha’ or ‘mmm’ when listening to your child while you’re busy doing something, but we know we don't hear as well when we are doing two things at once.  If you know the conversation is going to take a while say, I'll be ready to sit and listen to you in a few minutes and make sure you come back to them.  

2)      If you really can’t actively listen and look them in the eye at that moment, or you are busy with a chore, ask them to be involved by saying something like,  “I’m busy at the moment with .... cooking, cleaning or doing the laundry, ... it would be great if you could help me out and then we can sit together and you can tell me all about it”.  Normally, if it is important they will stick around, or the idea of work will make them disappear. This gives them a choice.

3)      If your child is constantly looking to tell you about something or wanting your attention as soon as you move out of their sight, I would recommend trying to have a box where they can write or draw a picture about what it is they want to say.  Let them know they can open the box at a preset time and go through what’s been on their mind during the day.   It may be a time before bed or at preset times in the day. 

So, if you want to connect with your child they do need undivided attention even if it is just a few minutes but you can give them alternatives if you are busy by getting them to be involved with what you are doing, like preparing a meal. If that is not possible rather be honest with them and tell them to come back in 10 minutes. 


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