Are you looking for a quick and effective parenting tip to help you connect with your kids?
I’m going to share with you a little tip that will help you connect with your kids. This one simple, easy change has completely changed my parenting!
If you’re thinking I’m going to tell you I started putting down my phone and paying attention to my kids, I’m not. Not that putting my phone away doesn’t help, it does! But hello, I’m a blogger!! I use my phone as part of my blog/business.
let me paint you a picture. I stay home with my two boys (soon to be three!!) so I’m with them all day every day. And by the end of the week there is definitely a sense of “oh my gosh I haven’t done anything alone, including go to the bathroom, all week”. And I’m exhausted. Sound familiar?
The problem was when I really stopped to look back on the week I wasn’t connecting with my kids the way I wanted to. The way they wanted me to. Sure we were together all. the. time. But there wasn’t always a genuine connection between us. And I could not figure out why. Can you relate to that? Have you ever looked back on your day or week and wished you could connect with your kids just a little bit more?
So I started paying attention to what I was doing on a daily basis. Really paying attention. And thinking about what I could change.
Was I on my phone too much?
Maybe I wasn’t organizing enough activities for us to do?
So I started planning a few more.
Was the TV on too much?
Definitely, so we turned it off.
But that still wasn’t it. I was still missing a connection.
What was it?
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but at the end of the day when I laid down in bed and thought back over my day with the kids, there was just something missing.
Then one day the boys were on the floor playing and I was sitting on the couch watching them. A totally normal occurrence in our house, especially since I’ve been pregnant with #3. And it hit me! What if I sat on the floor with them?
Have you ever thought to sit on the floor as a way to connect with your kids? Yeah, me either. Mostly because the couch is waaaaay more comfortable. And also because I have some unconventional views on play time.
I could probably write an entire blog post about my theory and approach to playing with my kids– and maybe one day I will– but for now I’ll sum it up for you. Basically I think adults kind of get in the way of kids play time. We like to sit down and drill them with questions and facts in the name of learning.
Suddenly building with Legos turns from using their imagination to answering spit fire questions about what color and shape everything is and how many rectangle Legos were used to build the tower. And the kids answer because they want to please us, not because it’s fun. What’s more fun is to build the tower and then crash it down with a dinosaur! Believe me, I’ve done it!!
Sure, there’s a time and place for talking about colors, numbers, shapes, and all that. We can’t just let our kids grow up thinking a square is a circle or never being able to identify color. But when kids are playing that’s their work, and I firmly believe in letting them do their work in peace!
So all of that is to say, when my boys are happily playing and exploring on their own I try to get out of their way.
There I was on the couch and I started thinking “what if I stayed out of their way but was just on their level?”
So I started sitting on the floor…
……….more and more often, out of the way but nonetheless on the floor, and more and more we connected.
My toddler would happily toddle over to me to show me a toy and go back to his playing. My preschooler would tell me quick facts about animals or show me his most recent “trick” he learned how to do (usually some weird variation of balancing on one foot) and then return to his play.
And I started to feel more and more connected to my boys. They were involving me in their play because they wanted me there. I wasn’t forcing myself into their world by hounding them with questions. And I wasn’t being begged to play Super Heros for the umpteenth time that day.
We were all where we wanted to be and yet our worlds were connecting. It was truly a beautiful example of what can happen when we step back and allow our children to seek us out. And we allow that connection to develop naturally.
Now, a few weeks later, I sit on the floor more often than not. Sure this gets harder as I get more pregnant, but it’s worth it. And it gives me a completely different perspective on what they’re doing as well. Instead of the typical mom view (supervising from the couch), I see things on their level. I’m on the floor with them, in their domain, observing from their angle. And I love it! This has completely changed how I interact with my kiddos. I feel more connected to them and I get to interact with them in smaller more meaningful moments throughout the entire day.
I just can’t believe it took me this long to figure out! Give it a try, it’s an easy way to connect with your kids right now. I bet you’ll be glad you tried it!
What are some ways you connect with your kids? Leave a comment below to share your best parenting tips about building a meaningful connection with your family.