Local Mom Scoop is excited to have Sofia Robirosa, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services contributing to Local Mom Scoop.
She has this knack for always writing about relatable parenting topics that I’m going through and I’m sure most parents are going through.
It’s a whole new year! Can you believe it’s 2016 already?
Every year, I review my prior year and look if I was able to achieve my goals and ultimately experience a better life. Three years ago, my husband and I had the goal to become parents, and at the end of 2013, we had our beautiful daughter Liah. Since then, my resolutions for the year have changed. How wouldn’t they, right?
They changed because now I had to fulfill a whole new role in my life: The one of being a parent. I’m sure you can relate, that being a good parent is always a goal of yours, and one that you strive to be for the rest of your life, no matter how old your “babies” are.
Here are 10 things you can do to enhance your relationship with your children. Read through for a **bonus** tip!
Spend at least 15 minutes a day one-on-one playing with your child. Let them choose the activity. Kids need your undivided attention to feel emotionally safe.
Find one new fun thing to do outside of your home with your kids that you haven’t done before. Doing something different keeps it fun and spontaneous. What kind of adventures you would like to see yourself and your children in this year?
Have dinner with your children without watching television, or cell phones or tablets allowed, at least one time a week. Family dinner time is the easiest way to engage in meaningful conversations. Make them count!
Avoid yes or no questions with your children. Instead of asking, “Did you have a good day today at school?” Ask, “What was something fun you did today at school?” This way, you will really learn what’s going on in their minds.
Focus more on what your child does well than not, and tell them as frequently as possible. In today’s society, we tend to focus very much on the negatives, because if we don’t things might not change. Focusing on what your child does well will motivate him or her on doing the right thing. Have you ever had a boss or teacher tell you regularly how good of a job you did? Did it make you feel motivated to do more? I bet it did.
Listen for your child’s feelings and tell them what you think they are feeling. This will help them feel understood. For example: If your child comes home from school with a sad face, you can say: “You look sad, did something happen today? It’s ok to be sad. When you are ready, we can talk about it.”
Be consistent. Create structure at home and define boundaries. Create a weekly schedule and display it so that your child can reference them. Children thrive in structure.
Create a new family tradition. Think of what can be done around holidays, birthdays, or any time of the year that can become a fun activity to repeat each year.
Nurture positive relationships around your children. Whether it is with a significant other, relatives, or friends, children learn from what they see around them. If your child sees others respect you, care for you, have healthy fun with you, there will be higher chances that they will mimic that behavior.
Make time some time for yourself. If you don’t have any family that can help, maybe get a fellow mommy that is in need of alone time as well and take turns taking care of each other’s children. You give a lot as a mommy, so you need to care for yourself to continue to give!
And for a bonus tip: Minimize the time your children spend in front of a screen by providing other avenues of distraction and allowing for more family interaction.