5 Ways to Reconnect with your Kids
We all have moments where we get swept up in the busy-ness of life, or with emotions that we can sometimes completely disconnect from those we love the most. When that happens, we find ourselves longing to regain that connection. Today I’m going to share some ways you can reconnect with your kids when life gets crazy.
I think it’s safe to say that life has definitely changed over the past several months. It feels like we’re in a constant state of limbo. Our current way of living is in no way “normal” to me, so I don’t call it a “new normal.” It’s so hard to live in this state of uncertainty where things are changing by the minute. It’s like living in an episode of “Whose Line is it Anyway,” where the rules are made up as we go along.
You’re not alone!
We have absolutely no frame of reference for how to live as adults during this time, much less how to be parents. It. Is. Exhausting. As hard as it is to admit, there have been days when I have just plain checked out. Rules and expectations? Out the window. Schedule? Ha! I have thrown in the towel, turned the tv on all day and just plain checked out. I get frustrated at my daughter and snap, I’m unsettled, I’m just not myself.
At the end of the day, I end up crying myself to sleep because I feel like I’ve been a “bad mom” or like I’ve cheated my kid and left her feeling lonely. Without a doubt the next morning, my daughter has forgotten it all and wakes up so excited to see me. All I want to do is reconnect. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to reconnect with your kids when life gets crazy.
The number one way to Reconnect with your Kids – Unplug
We live in a small town and our electricity comes from a co-op. I have nothing against the co-op but our little town has definitely seen a boom in the last several years and I think the co-op is having a little bit of a tough time keeping up with the growth. Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because last week, we started having our annual summer power outages. I’m not kidding.
I live in Central Texas. It is *hot* in mid-July. In fact, last week we had our first 105+ degree days. On one of those days our power was off for over half an hour. A truck hit a pole or something and we just lost power. Do you know how hard it is to explain to a three-year-old that there is no internet when the power goes off? Eventually she got the picture and we found things to do. We sat in the quiet and read books, did puzzles, and talked. It was such a blessing!
Unplugging shouldn’t only happen when there’s a power outage, but it is one of the best ways to reconnect with your kids. Our little ones notice when we are distracted. I’m guilty! Sometimes my daughter will yell, “Mom, no phone!”
Commit to leaving the phone in the other room, or simply turning off notifications. This year I took a social media fast in January and it was incredible! I read books! I played! Especially right now, social media can be an unhealthy source of stress. I can feel my heart rate go up when I see notifications or speculation about certain things happening (school opening up = STRESS)! My husband is on call 24/7 with his job but when he’s home the phones go in our room. The volume is up so he can take a call if he needs to, but they’re not always in his hand. He has challenged me to do the same, but I have to admit I’ve had a hard time doing it. I’m going to really give it a try this week. Will you join me?
Our kids may act like they’re embarrassed when we’re silly around them but let me let you in on a little secret…they love it! I have spent over 15 years working with kids and families. The kids I’ve worked with ranged from toddler to high school seniors and yes, they will all have different reactions to your silliness, but deep down they will love you for it.
Kids need to see their parents being silly, not taking themselves seriously. We set an example with everything we do. It’s daunting, I know. When we allow our wall to come down and just be goofy, our kids see that we’re human just like they are. The connection is formed much easier. It’s easier to have conversations. You might find that at the end of a silly day, your older child might want to have a serious conversation about something that’s been on their mind.
So, the next time your kiddo runs around the house asking for a tickle war, or to dance to “Better When I’m Dancin” (or whatever it is at your house), just get over yourself and do it. You might just find you enjoy it!
Get in the Kitchen Together to Reconnect with your Kids
We love cooking together as a family! Yes, it can be messy and things might not turn out exactly as you plan but cooking or baking together can be one of the best opportunities to Reconnect with your Kids. *Now, if you have high anxiety about your kitchen (ie, you don’t allow other people to cook in your house), you might want to think about this and plan ahead for how you’ll handle your anxiety before you climb in the trenches with your kiddo(s).
You can cook a meal together, or make a special treat. Make it even more special by letting the kids choose what to make! Cooking and baking are great life skills that kids need to learn, and they’re also great ways to practice academic skills like math, science, and reading in a real-life, hands on way. Have a blast making your meal or treat, then work together to clean up (another life skill kids need to master).
While you enjoy your treat, talk about the experience. What was their favorite part? Was there something that was challenging for them? How did they work through their challenge? Do they like the way their dish tastes? All of these are great conversation starters and will take your fun experience in the kitchen to a deeper level of connection.
I am a nineties kid. We look back at the nineties as a very unique time in our country. I think of myself as having been blessed growing up in the hay-day of kid-dom that was the 1990s. As I’ve gotten older and learned history I know there were some definite challenges in our country, but as I was living out my childhood I was blissfully unaware of those things. I have such fond memories of being a kid.
When I say to get “old school,” I mean to take a good look back on your best memories from your childhood and introduce your child to those activities. We would spend all day out riding our bikes, making mud pies, having a lemonade stand. Remember those loop looms that you used to make your mom a bajillion hot pads? Yep, we’ve introduced Emma to those. Engage in old school arts and crafts: tie dye, puffy paint, the list goes on! *Disclaimer: If you have the great idea to watch some movies from your childhood, check out IMDB first as there were probably things in those movies you don’t realize are there until you have kids…just sayin…
The power of the snuggle is real, y’all. We have recently reached the age where napping during the day makes bedtime a complete mess, so instead we just have snuggle time together on the couch. We read books, talk, sometimes watch something quiet on tv. Snuggling together helps kids feel safe and loved. Snuggling helps parents feel calm. Remember when your child was a baby and you held them close in on your chest? Your breathing calmed both of you. I find that snuggling has the same effect now as it did then. Take time to just stop and soak in all the snuggles you can, it can help press that reset button for both of you.
Ready to Reconnect with your Kids?
I know we all need a little more connection right now. I hope I’ve inspired you to find easy ways to reconnect with your kids, no matter how crazy life is. In the end, it’s those connections that mean the most and that make life worth living.
Hi! I’m Stephanie, and I blog over at Inspired Mrs L. I’m so excited to guest post for you today on how to Reconnect with your Kids. I am a wife and mom to a three-year-old daughter. I’m an educator by trade and I enjoy using my platform to inspire parents and families to grow, get creative, and learn together.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inspiredmrsl/
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/inspiredmrsl/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inspiredmrsl