All parents, from time to time, feel as if they are not connecting with their children the way they would like. Perhaps the conversation has waned, or maybe they find that they are too tired for a meaningful chat, or always disappear up to the bedroom. However, connecting is not all about the conversation. If your child is not the talkative type, there are many other, just as meaningful ways, you can do this. It is up to you as a parent to try and find a way in. Think about their interests, for example. There is no set way to be, and you can try a little experimentation to make things fun. Anyway, here are some ideas to think about:
Children generally love cake and sweet things. On top of that, the smell of something baking in the oven is attractive and gets the juices flowing. You could use baking and learning about cooking in general as a way to connect. You could involve the children in meal choices, and you could cook things together. You may be able to help them develop good healthy eating habits, which is vital. They could help prepare evening meals as well as helping you make this minnie mouse chocolate cake. Food has the power to bring people together, and you never know you could have a budding Michelin chef in your midst.
Once you have done all that lovely cooking, you are going to want to eat it. Encourage meals around the table and get everyone to put their phones away. This is a great chance to ensure that, first of all, they are eating correctly and healthily, but you can have a conversation where everyone joins in. It can be considered an adult thing to do, and if you treat them like grown-ups they may act like it too. Never underestimate the value a good family meal can add to home life.
Family outings and activities
As a family, you could plan things to do at the weekend. Perhaps take it in turns to do something you really want to do. Such as one weekend abseiling, the next archery. Getting the whole family involved is a great way to bond and connect as a unit. Activities enable you to learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses too. If each family member gets a chance to try something they really love, without prejudice, it will make them feel more appreciated. It will help them be themselves too, which is important for positive mental health going forward.
Take an interest in their hobbies
Most children and teenagers have something that they are interested in. For many, it could be computer games. If you want to connect with them, it may be an idea to try and learn a bit about the game they like. Watch them play, and ask questions, even see if they will allow you to play. If you do it right, they may open up to you, telling you all about the characters they like.