5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Child

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Do you desire a closer relationship with your child? In this podcast, we'll discuss five ways to stay connected even when life gets busy and stressful. #ChristianparentingStaying connected to your child

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to let distractions and everyday stress creep in and build a wall between ourselves and our kids.
Today, we’re going to be talking about how to stay connected to your child even in the midst of day-to-day life.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast or reading my blog, you know that I am all about building a close bond with your kids.

I believe that God calls us to be compassionate and gracious to our children and nurture them to the best of our ability. So I’m excited to dive in and talk about five of my favorite ways to connect with my kids.

1. Laugh and be silly

Laughter is a wonderful gift from God. And it’s also a great way to bond with our kids!

A child’s laughter is something that we should always be thankful for. Psalm 126:2 says, “Our mouths were filled with laughter.”

Laughing, goofing off, and just being silly can help improve our mood and help establish a close connection. I mean, don’t you just love being around people who make you laugh?

For my son, he is the comedian in our family. He loves to laugh and tell jokes. When we’re doing our homeschool lessons together, I always try to incorporate humor because it helps him to have fun and really helps our bond. He loves one-liners and cheesy knock-knock jokes, so I’m always on the hunt for a new joke to tell him.

2. Tell them about your childhood

Let’s face it — we know our kids inside and out. But how well do our kids know us? After all, most of us have lived a big chunk of our lives before they were born!

My kids love hearing me tell stories about when I was a kid. Even telling them something that I would consider mundane or boring, they are a captive audience. They love hearing me talk about family vacations, my embarrassing moments, and even the times when I disobeyed and got into trouble.

And, they also love hearing about when their dad and I first met. The places we visited together, the dates we went on, where we lived – they soak it up.

One of the reasons I wrote the mother-child devotional, Jesus, Mommy, and Me was because of this very thing. Each night at bedtime my daughter would ask me to tell her about something from my childhood.

I loved how talking about my past could let her get to know me – and learn from my mistakes. (There are so many valuable “teaching moments” from our childhoods!)

I searched for a devotional that focused on helping a mother and child get to know one another better and build a close bond, but I couldn’t find one!

So I wrote my own. And I made sure to include talking points every day to allow moms to teach their kids about when they were young, as well as speaking words of affirmation over them.

Which brings us to our next idea…

3. Affirm them

We tell our kids we love them every single day. But is that enough? I kind of feel like I say those three little words so much that they lose some of their meaning.

Sometimes it may mean more to say, “You know what? I think you’re a really great kid.”

Kids love to hear that we’re proud of them – not just for what they do or things they accomplish – but for who they are as a person/their character.

My oldest daughter is incredibly kind and nurturing – and she also happens to thrive on words of affirmation. So I constantly remind her of how much I admire her kindness.

I also love to tell my kids that I’m so thankful that God made me their mom. I’ll say, “Out of all the kids in the world, I’m so glad God picked you out for me.”

Not only does this help them feel special and wanted, but it’s also a good reminder to me. Because let’s face it, there are hard days. There are days when there’s lots of whining and my nerves are fried. Days when I don’t feel like being affirming or nurturing.

But affirming my kids always brings me to a place of gratitude. I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of being their mom.

Related listening: The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

4. Remind them you think of them

When you’re apart, let them know you were thinking of them. As moms, our kids are never far from our thoughts. We constantly think about them, worry about them, and wonder what they’re up to.

When I go into the office, I miss my kids like crazy. If I have time, I’ll grab a scrap piece of paper and draw each child a little picture. It’s nothing fancy. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination.

But I’ll sketch out a little picture of their favorite cartoon character, animal, or whatever they’re interested in. For my oldest daughter who can read, sometimes I’ll write her a quick letter. She has a whole photo album filled with those little scrap pieces of paper – little notes and drawings I’ve brought home over the years.

Those kids love it when I bring them a simple, amateur drawing. It helps to remind them I was thinking of them. It reminds them that I know what they’re interested in. And it means a lot that I took the time to make them something.

5. Give them your undivided attention

Okay, I have a confession to make. If you see me, you’ll generally also see one other thing. My phone.

I always have it with me. I’m also a chronic multi-tasker, so it seems I’m always doing at least three things at one time.

The problem is, my attention is divided. When one of my kids wants to spend thirty minutes telling me a story they made up, they don’t feel like I care.

I’m really working on this area of my life and I want to encourage you, too. It’s really amazing what leaving the phone in the other room will do for your relationships. It helps your child feel valued. When we pause what we’re doing, get eye level with them and make eye contact, offering a smile, they feel valued.

They feel wanted. And they feel important.

And they are important!

Way more important than how many likes we have on Facebook or how many followers we have on Instagram.

My son is kind of obsessed with animals. Especially endangered animals or ones that have gone extinct. He loves telling me about rare species and one of the ways we bond is by learning about rare animals together.

Now honestly, I’m not very passionate about Tasmanian Tigers. But because it’s important to him, it’s important to me. I love his enthusiasm and I love that he shares it with me.

And if I listen eagerly to the things that matter to them when they’re young, my hope is that they’ll talk to me about the things that matter to them when they’re older. You see, there’s a bigger purpose behind putting intentional effort into cultivating closeness with our kids. Yes, we love them and we want a close-knit relationship with them. But bigger than that is a God-given responsibility to be a role model to them. We are to be a reflection of God’s love for them.

Romans 5:5 says that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” It’s only through God’s love living in us that we can truly show love to our kids.

If you’ve been struggling lately with feeling annoyed with your kids…or if harshness has driven a wedge between you and your child, I want to offer you some encouragement.

Today is a new day. Today you can start building a bridge and reconnect with your child. One of my personal mottos is “progress, not perfection.”

There’s no such thing as the perfect mother. But each day is a new day to try again.

Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

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