No global changes or heroic feats are needed to make our relationships with our children better: small traditions and habits can qualitatively improve the amount of love and happiness in a single family.
Rarely can anyone boast of a perfect morning like in coffee commercials. Instead of a family idyll, more often than not we are faced with fuss, irritation, criticism, and yelling. We turn into a monster family just because we didn’t get enough sleep, we want to stay alone and play at Hellspin, we’re hungry, it’s dark outside and the weather is bad, time is short, and everyone is late. All of this not only gives a negative charge for the day but also negatively affects the relationships of all family members. It’s especially difficult for children: because of their age, it’s more difficult for them to understand why their mother does not have time to hug them, why they have to choke on scalding porridge and put on pants now, and not after playing lego.
Make mornings a magical time of day that gives you meaningful interaction with your loved ones and mental strength for the day. All it takes is nothing:
- Set your alarm clock a half-hour to an hour early to gain extra time.
- Wake up your family with only kind words, hugs and kisses.
- everything you can pack in advance (clothes, food, bags and backpacks), pack in the evening.
- Allocate time in the morning (at least 15-20 minutes) for a pleasant activity together.
- It can be silly dancing, your favorite music, an audiobook, reading a book, or drawing.
The main thing is to choose something that will be enjoyable for all participants. This will be your magical morning ritual.
Reminders of Yourself
If your child spends the day without you – with a babysitter, at day care or at school, or even at school – make sure he gets pleasant reminders about family and home. Depending on age, it may be hidden in the pockets of his mother-drawn pictures and “kisses,” cute notes or thoughtful letters. Then they can be kept in a big box and reread during serious conflicts. There goes the bridge of expressed feelings between you.
Surprising When You Meet
When you give something to your child after separation (even if you just went out shopping for a couple of hours), you show that you’ve been thinking about him all along. True, parents often abuse this, and the goal (to express their feelings to the child) is overshadowed by the means (the child’s habit of getting sweets or an expensive gift). Try to be imaginative. Instead of reaching in the store for another “Kinder”, find a beautiful acorn in the park, buy a calendar with your favorite animal in a newsstand, bring home a beautifully wrapped apple or a carved snowflake that Santa Claus gave you to keep until Christmas.
We all read to our children. The question is how to do it. Mechanical reading, which is a lively audiobook, isn’t the same as a thoughtful process. It’s important to remember to intonate, to explain things you don’t understand, to remember your own memories, and to talk through your child’s experiences through the feelings of the characters. Make it a tradition to read at least one book story every day, selecting them in a way that tells the children what you want them to read about: the origins of dinosaurs, the importance of helping old ladies, conquering fears, or unconditional parental love.
Talking Before Bedtime
Of course, after a hard day’s work and household chores, most of us want to hastily kiss our child on the forehead and send him off to bed. But often it turns out that during the day there is not a minute when the child could tell about his feelings and discoveries, or ask the parent about something important. The tradition of a joint family dinner often saves the day, but not all children are ready to share the most important things in this format. It would be great if your child knew that before going to bed he would have only your time with him, when he could speak out or just be silent with you about the most important things.