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Playful Ways For Parents to Connect With Their Kids

In the same way that food and water are vital for healthy living, connection is vital for parents to connect with their kids. Even though many parents have a lot to juggle, it is important to take the time to build a strong relationship with your kids. While this is a serious undertaking, there are many ways to do it playfully and your children will enjoy the time they spend with you.

Imagine this scenario. Your kid was playing on a slide in a park when they fell and landed with a bump. Think about what’s the first thing they do. They look toward you. When a child is hurt, they want comfort and reassurance from their parents. That close, trusting relationship is built through fostering connections.

When you connect with your children, you get to know them better and they become more likely to follow your lead. Connection also makes it more likely that your kids will confide in you and share their concerns with you. It is well accepted that children learn through play, especially when they are young. Whether you want to spend some quality time with your kids, or you need to support them during a difficult period, playful interactions are a great idea.


How to Connect with Your Kid

Deepening your relationship with your children will improve your relationship significantly and the effects often last a lifetime. Here are some of the best ways to connect with your kid in an enjoyable way.


Laugh Together

Laughter brings people together. Sharing lighthearted moments will help to bring you and your child together and help to reduce tension. Get silly with your kids and let your inner child come to the fore again. Consider blowing up a balloon and chasing after it with your kid.

Also, encourage your kids to play with you. Younger kids especially like it when they have an opportunity to jump out from corners and surprise you. Try out belly tickles and pillow fights. However, be sure not to overpower your little ones; kids love it better when they win. Do this, and the bond between you and your kids will increase.

Snuggle up to Them

Everybody loves a good snuggle. After a long day, there are few things better than snuggling under the covers with your kid. Read a book or chat about your day while enjoying the warmth of the covers.

You have the option of turning this into a game. Tell your children you need a good snuggle and chase them in the bedroom. More often than not, both of you will end up in a sea of arms and legs, laughing and squealing all the way. Trust us; they will love you for it.

Photo by Filipe Leme from Pexels

Pay Attention to Them

Pay close attention to the things your children share. They may be telling you about something which seems inconsequential like a Lego battle they had with a friend. However, if they’re talking about it, it’s important to them so give them your full attention. Get down on your knees if necessary and look them straight in the eyes. Nothing tells your kid you love them like eye contact. It comes with an instant dose of added connection that says to your kid, “This moment is for you.”


Carve out Small Moments with Your Kids

There is nothing like letting your kid dictate the play. One-on-one time with your child will help you keep in tune with their persona and deepen the bond between the two of you. The best way to do this? Invite them to play with you for a set time, say 15 minutes. Let them direct the play, set a dedicated timer, and avoid distractions of any kind. Turn off your phones if you have to.


Respond to Them Playfully

If your child is whining and complaining to you, respond playfully if it’s appropriate. Complaints and whines are often an attempt to grab your attention. Responding jokingly and playfully shows them that you are listening and that the situation is not as bad as they presume.

How do you do this? Imagine your kid is whining because they want more cookies. Instead of raising your voice at them, scoop them up and tell them you are the Cookie Monster. Pretend to attack the child and watch them dissolve in a sea of laughter. This is a form of positive reinforcement that will deepen the bond between both of you.

Fight When They Ask You To

Slow your horses; you are not taking boxing gloves to your kid. If your child whacks you with a cushion out of the blue, they are saying, “Hey, come play with me. Let me show you how powerful I am”. Tell them they’ll never win but for the next couple of minutes, let them win.

Sometimes, this may be a way for your child to resolve bitter feelings or agitation picked up at school. One way they do this is through physical activity. Why do they choose you? Because you are a safe zone. Always gear physical activity toward laughter. Do this and you’ll bond with your child like never before.


Be Affectionate

Nothing increases the connection between two people like physical touch. Hug your child as much as possible and kiss them in the morning before they go to their school. A touch on the shoulder or sitting thigh to thigh with them on the sofa works too.

Be sure to hug your children close when they are upset. Some parents have even found that their children complete their homework faster when they are seated on their laps. Touch them without invading their personal space. It’s a great way to show them you love them!


In Summary

Connecting with young children is a great way to form a deep bond with them. In fact, these connections form the foundation for a powerful parent-child relationship. Incorporate the activities listed above into your daily routine, and your kids will love you for it. Taking positive parenting courses is also an excellent idea. This will show you how to forge a strong, loving bond with your kids. Get closer to your kid today!



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Amy Petrou

Amy Petrou is a content advocate at GenMindful.com, and a mother of two. In her free time you will find her writing on her blog, reading and searching for pottery and paintings to add to her growing collection.

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