Connecting with our kids on a daily basis can be difficult. Creating strong family connections is important, but knowing where to start and how to find the time is overwhelming. Here are three simple ways to connect with your kids every day.
In the chaos on every day life, it often feels like I’m just passing through with my family. Sure, I see them. I talk to them. We interact. But many days it doesn’t feel like we really connect on any sort of deeper level.
And that makes me so sad!
My family is so important to me, and connecting with my kids is easily one of the most important (if not the most important) things I do all day!
But I’ve learned something recently: connecting with those we love doesn’t have to be long or complicated or over-the-top. It can even be as simple as sitting down and talking–eye contact included–for five minutes!
Here are 3 simple ways I like to connect with my kids on the busiest of days:
1. Play a game.
There are lots of really short and simple games out there. In fact, many take ten minutes or less! It’s easy to throw in a quick round of a fun game, and my kids will feel like they really got to spend quality time with Mom.
Here are some favorite quick games:
Quick games to Play with a deck of cards:
- Go Fish
- Old Maid
Quick games to play with pencil and paper:
- Tic Tac Toe
- Dots and Boxes
2. Read to them.
Snuggling up with a good book is one of my favorite ways to connect with my kids. You can do this with a picture book (kids are never too old for picture books 😉), or read a chapter from a novel out loud each day.
My Top Tip for Reading Aloud
Let your kids do something with their hands while you read to keep them focused and make it extra fun. Some ideas include:
- Coloring (these are my favorite coloring books)
- Eating a snack
- Drawing (this is my favorite drawing book)
We also have this Ikea swing in our family room and my daughter loves to swing while I read out loud to her! Seriously, this swing was one of our best purchases ever! The kids use it every single day, multiple times a day!
3. Talk with them–and then listen!
Holding a conversation is an important skill for kids to learn, and what better way for them to learn than for us to teach them through our own actions!
Some kids are little jabber-mouths and you can’t get them to stop talking. But other kids need a little pushing and prodding to get them to talk.
Ideas to Get Kids Talking
Two truths and a lie
I started playing this game during carpool with my son and his friend when I’d pick them up from kindergarten.
At the beginning of the year, I’d ask them what they did and they’d say, “nothing,” which I know wasn’t true. So I started to ask them to tell me two things that happened that day and one thing that didn’t and I’d guess the lie.
They loved it and I got a glance into their lives! Now we love to play this as a family at dinner time and it really just gets the conversation going.
Have a jar of questions ready, then simply ask one and discuss. This Choices Jar or this Table Topics for Kids are both great options. There are also lots of free printable options all over the Internet!
These are a great way to get the conversation going and to teach kids all about emotions and how to process them in a healthy way.
Lay out all the feeling cards, then have your kid pick two or three that they felt that day and why. You can guide them to choose both a positive and a negative emotion, if you like as well. This is especially helpful for kids struggling with negativity. It can help them learn to find a positive in every day!
Feelings cards are a great way to learn more about kids’ lives and what they’re struggling with.
A Note About Conversations
If at all possible, be all in during these conversations. Let your kids know you’re there, really present, in the discussion. This means no phone, no driving, no dishes, no folding laundry.
Sit and look at your kid while they talk. Be all in.
It doesn’t have to be an hour long conversation. Even just a few minutes can make all the difference in your child’s day.
This is really hard for me sometimes! I’m a productivity junkie, so I love to multitask when possible. And of course I still talk to my kids while I drive or clean. But I’m challenging myself to do nothing but talk/listen for a few minutes each day and it’s really helping me feel connected to my kids!
Connecting with Our Kids
Connecting with our kids matters. It’s important for them to know that they’re important to us. That they matter. And sometimes that message gets missed in the busy-ness of daily life.
If we can focus on truly connecting with each of our children one-on-one most days, it will make all the difference. Remember, it doesn’t have to be an hour per kid per day. Five to ten minutes is enough most days!
How do you like to connect with your kids?
If you liked this post, check out these posts about connecting with your family:
- Why Talking with Your Kid Matters–And How To Do It
- 14 Games to Play with Your Kids
- How to Have a Successful Family Meeting
- How to Get Kids to Read