We are often caught up with providing the very best for our little ones that we fail to connect with them. For most parents managing home and work is a balancing act. Amidst our busy schedules, ensuring that our child is fed, clothed and cared for, at times feels to be a part of our routines. To break the monotony and to add a little color to your interactions, here are some tips:
Listen to them: We often pay half attention to what our child is saying, even the novelty of babbling is lost after a few days. It’s time we actually listened to what our little ones have to say. Who knows, you may be surprised to find how fascinating their conversations can be.
Return of “family meals”: Gone are the days of sitting down for a family meal. Now-a-days, the television is every member’s best friend. Bring back the tradition of a family meal. Share a meal and a conversation. These meal times can also be used to encourage your child to develop self feeding skills through observation and imitation.
Fun bath times: Splash around, get wet and make bath times more enjoyable for your little one. Prepare a bubble bath, add in some water toys and get soaking. Most children love water play, extend the bath time a little once in a while to let them enjoy. You can also make the ritual of bathing more enjoyable by using colored and fragrant soaps, using playing sounds like the soap being a car and splashing the child to rinse of the soap.
Bed times: Create a special bed time routine. This can be to dress them up in their night wear, saying a special prayer, enjoying a quiet reading or story telling time. Kiss your child goodnight, to mark the perfect ending to a joyful day.
Walk and talk: A quiet morning or evening walk is a wonderful way to bond with your child. For children yet to develop communication skills, use these walks to point out different object, animals, flowers etc making the walk more meaningful.
Special time: Introduce an impromptu special time. Take a trip outside, play a game or anything, which will allow you to spend time with your child and bond.
Each day with your child is valuable, if not anything, make it more special by telling your child how much you love them.
Sarah Mary Joseph
Sr. Occupational Therapist
Prayatna, Centre for Child Development, Cochin.