We all aim to have those close moments with our children; the emotional ones that make our hearts melt. That connection is essential to us as parents.
Our infants are quickly growing into toddlers, and therefore becoming increasingly independent! So how do we maintain a powerful connection while setting the necessary boundaries? How can we keep our relationships close during the pandemic, when we are living on top of each other 24/7?
Social distancing and school closures have affected the way children interact and it’s our job for that to not have a lasting impact. It’s more important than ever to make sure our kids don't become isolated, whilst also adhering to routine and structure! That means we have to get creative and find ways to nourish and grow the relationship. Given that parenting is the toughest job out there, the only way to keep a strong bond with our children is to build in daily habits of connection. Habits that turn disconnections and negative interactions into strong sustained emotional bonds.
- Aim for 10 hugs physical connections every day
Snuggles, hugs, cuddles, kisses. Every physical connection counts for growth.
Hug when you reunite in the kitchen, snuggle before bed time, and cuddle often between. Make eye contact and smile, a wonderfully simple emotional touch. This surreal lockdown situation has been an invitation to slow down and enjoy our babies with fresh eyes.
By making laughter a daily habit it gives your child a chance to leave anxiety behind and be more engaged. With literally nowhere to go you have no choice but to turn the flat into a playground. From organizing a treasure hunt, to cooking a special recipe and many more activities, which you can find on Kara Bloom Facebook Group.
- Turn off technology while interacting
Some of us relinquished control during the pandemic. We have to make the most of this opportunity to spend more time than ever with family and value it. Even turning off the TV can be a strong invitation to connect and kids will be more likely to open up. It’s important for them to understand that their parents cared enough to pause the things that don’t matter to give into the things that do. When you are able - give them your undivided attention.
- Listening & Empathizing
A strong bond starts with listening, and it is maintained by empathizing. Make a habit of seeing things from your toddler's point of view, use phrases like "I see...Really? Super!...How was that for you?" Check in- where you can, so they feel listened to and heard.
- Slow down, reflect & savor the moment
If the isolation doesn’t slow us down, no one and nothing will. Use this time to create inner peace and reflect. Don’t rush, use every interaction as an opportunity to connect. For instance, when you're helping him wash his hands, wash yours at the same time, talk about the importance of washing hands, create an interactive game - just between the two of you. Live the moment, it is all we can do in these difficult times and the simplest and most effective way we can connect with our little ones!