Dr. V.S. Gayathri
Parenting 2023: Getting To Know Your Child!
Before we start today’s topic, try to answer this.
You walk into your house, exhausted after a long day at work. Your little four-year-old son comes running to you, shouting with excitement, “Mamma, come see the castle I built.” You look around and see pillows, blankets, and chairs fill the hallway.
How would you react to such a situation?
a) You get upset at the mess your son has made. You get angry and shout at him to clean up the mess right away.
b) You say that you will take a look at his castle later because you have to go and prepare dinner first.
c) You say that you are tired and need some rest. You will look at his castle later.
d) You drop everything and enter his castle to become the king/queen of his castle.
If you answered ‘d’, then you have established your 10 minutes of connection with your child for the day. If not, you may have missed an easy opportunity to establish the key connection!
A top researcher from a premium institute explains why all it really takes is just 10 minutes of your focused time and attention to connect, bond, and build trust with your child.
Understanding and connecting with your child is one of the most important things that a parent must do. Getting to know your child is a crucial aspect of parenting. This helps you to bond and nurture your relationship with your child, and in the process help them become better individuals as well.
Benefits of Positively Connecting with Your Child
Helps to improve their mental health
Studies show that children who share a cordial relationship with their parents are psychologically stronger and happier. These kids have strong emotional support from their parents that gives them the strength to rise and shine through life’s challenges.
Helps to reduce behavioral problems
When parents connect positively with their children, they pass on positive behavioral traits like giving respect, empathy, honesty, and others to their children. Kids embrace them and learn to differentiate between good and bad in terms of behavior. This thereby helps to reduce behavioral issues in kids. They try to imbibe and learn from what their parents are doing taking them as role models.
Improves their physical health
Happiness and health go hand in hand. So, when kids feel happy from within, it reflects in their overall health as well. And this happiness comes from the affection they share with their parents. Spending time doing both indoor and outdoor activities always has a positive impact on both physical and mental health.
A study states that the time parents spend with their children has a powerful effect on their educational achievement/ It also keeps them away from different wrongdoings in comparison to kids whose parents are not spending enough time with them or they don’t know what their kids are doing.
A survey also found that many parents don’t always know if their kids are struggling emotionally or about their interests which leads to a big communication gap and can have grave consequences.
Here are some simple tips for spending quality time with your children:
Connect daily with your child. It can be face-to-face connections before school and work or sending them a little note in their lunch bags - any kind of connection with your children is important and valuable. Ask them what happened at the school or the playground.
Tell your child that you love them every day. Let your child know why you love, trust, and value them.
Create some routine rituals, such as picking and reading a short book before bedtime or playing some word game in breaks.
Reinforce positive behaviors with your appreciation. It doesn't have to be always materialistic or something big. Simple words of acknowledgment often mean a lot to them.
Cook a meal and eat together. This allows for the family to talk to one another as well as fosters teamwork. Find some chores that you can do together and enjoy.
Schedule time to do an activity with your child, and let them choose. Such as crafting, baking, family game night, etc.
Play with your child, even if it is just for a few minutes. Choose some quick and simple card or memory games that rejuvenate and freshen them up.
Tell jokes and laugh with your child. Laughter is great for improving emotional health. Share your life stories from your childhood or about friendship etc. and encourage them to share theirs.
Take time away from technology for half an hour and just spend time listening and talking to your child.
Here are some questions which can help you to record both your and your child’s responses to check how much they match and how well you know them. Try it.