To make our relationships with children better, no global changes or heroic deeds are needed: small traditions and habits can increase the amount of love and happiness in a family.
1. Good morning
Hardly anyone can boast of an ideal morning – life is not like a coffee or cornflakes commercial. Instead of the fancy family idyll, there is often fuss, irritation, criticism and screams. We are transforming into a family of monsters only because we have not had enough sleep, we are hungry, it is dark outside and the weather is bad. Besides, there is not much time, and everyone is late. This not only affects the whole day negatively but also deteriorates the relationship among all family members. It is especially tough for children to handle: due to their age, they find it more difficult to understand why their mom does not have time to hug them, why they need to swallow hot porridge and put on pants right now, and not after playing Lego.
Make your morning a magic time of the day, which gives plenty of communication with the loved ones and brings emotional strength for the whole day. This is such an easy thing to do:
- set the alarm clock half an hour earlier to have extra time;
- wake up your family only with kind words, hugs, and kisses;
- everything that can be prepared in advance (clothes, food, bags and backpacks) should be done in the evening;
- Find some time in the morning (at least 15-20 minutes) for a pleasant occupation together with your family;
This can be a silly dance, your favorite music, an audiobook, reading a book or drawing. The main thing is to choose something that will be pleasant for all the participants. This will be your magic morning ritual.
2. Reminding about yourself
If the child spends the day without you – with a nanny, in the kindergarten, at school, or even at the university – make sure that he/she receives pleasant reminders of the family and the house. Depending on the age, these can be funny pictures and “kisses” drawn by the mother and hidden in the pockets, cute notes or thoughtful letters. Then, they can be stored in a large box and re-read during serious conflicts as the bridge of expressed feelings between the two of you.
3. Making a surprise when meeting your kids
When you give something to a child after separation (even if you just went out shopping for a couple of hours), you show that you have been thinking about him/her. However, parents often abuse this tip, and the goal of expressing your feelings to the kid is often distorted by the child’s acquired habit of receiving a sweet or expensive gift. Try to resort to your imagination. Instead of getting another toy at a store, find a beautiful acorn in the park, buy a calendar with the favorite animal in a newsstand, bring home a beautifully packaged apple or a cut snowflake that “Santa Claus asked you to keep till the New Year’s Eve”.
We all read to our children. The question is how to do it. Mechanical reading, which resembles an audiobook, has nothing to do with a thoughtful process. It is important to remember about intoning, explaining incomprehensible things, recollecting your own memories and pronouncing the children’s emotions through the characters’ feelings. Develop a habit of reading at least one book story every day, selecting them the way you need to tell the children about the origins of dinosaurs, about the importance of helping old people, about defeating your fears or about unconditional parental love.
5. Talking before bedtime
Of course, after a hard day at work and household chores, most of us want to kiss the child quickly and let him/her fall sleep. However, it often turns out that there is not a single minute for the children to tell about their feelings and discoveries or ask the parents about something important. The tradition of a joint family dinner is rather helpful in this respect, but this is not the right format for the children to be ready to share their most important thoughts. It would be great if your child knew that he/she would have some time with no one but you before going to bed. This is exactly when he/she can speak out or just keep silent about something that really matters.