Kids don’t need one more toy…one more TV show…one more activity…nor one more minute on an electronic device.
They need more time with US!
They are craving it. They will do anything to get it…including whining, fighting, bickering, moaning, groaning, complaining, fit-throwing, etc. Even laziness, disrespectfulness, disobedience…you name it! In fact, most misbehavior can somehow be linked to the desire for our attention.
The truth is that if we give our kids more attention in positive ways, they won’t try to get our attention in negative ways. Here are positive ways to intentionally connect and build a close, positive relationship with our kids (thank you for our board members for helping with this list)…
- Each day (or as much as you can), ask them: “What do you want to do for our (Take-10 Time, Special Time, Our Time, etc.)?” Then do it for 10 minutes. For older kids, each time, take turns doing something they like and then having them do something that you like.
- Leave a note that says “You’re awesome because…” on their pillow, on the bathroom mirror, at the breakfast or dinner table, etc.
- Each month, do something special with them on the day of the month they were born. (Do something special with your spouse on the day of your anniversary!) You could let them pick the dinner for that night, stay up later for one-on-one time like a movie or game night.
- Find a book that has a movie to go with it. Read the book together. Then, watch the movie together. (Charlotte’s Web, Benji, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Wonder, A Dog’s Purpose, etc.)
- Make a special meal together.
- Learn something new—play the guitar, learn a new language, learn how to draw cartoon characters, etc.
- Rub their back at night while you do the same 4 bedtime questions
- I always ask:
- 1. What was your favorite part of your day?
- 2. What was your least favorite part of your day?
- 3. How did you show kindness/love/teamwork/integrity (choose any character trait you are working on) today?
- 4. Do you have any questions or anything else you would like to share about your day?
- I always ask:
- Give them a high five.
- Tell them what makes them unique and why you love that about them.
- Do a puzzle.
- Memorize Bible verses.
- Look through photo albums or make a new photo album.
- Dig through the attic or basement relics.
Get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. (Vitamin D is so good for our mood!)
Try to recreate a science experiment you find/watch on YouTube or create one of your own.
- Pop popcorn and watch a kids’ movie together.
- Bake cookies.
- Try a new fruit or vegetable. (Bonus–Eating healthy keeps our immune systems strong!)
- Build or create something—sand castle, Legos, mud mountain, artwork, an invention, a rocket, a model airplane, a play-doh creation, etc.
- Make a list of your top 10 things you love about them and share it with them at dinner time. (Have them do the same for you!)
- Have a special notebook for writing back and forth with each child.
- Go around the dinner table and share your high and low of the day.
- Make a special breakfast on Saturday mornings.
- Tell them a story about your favorite childhood memories at bedtime.
- Read Bible stories together every night.
- Snuggle and read a book side by side.
- Do a house project–rearrange furniture, repaint a room, etc.
- Color or paint a picture. You could even draw a silly picture of each other.
- Learn how to sew on a button together.
- Take turns telling jokes.
- Play “Don’t laugh” where you tickle them and tell them not to laugh.
- Tickle their “Grumpies” out.
- Have an “I Love You the Most” Contest–where you take turns shouting “I love you the most.” “NO—I love YOU the most.”
- Have a staring contest.
- Play “Rock, Paper, Scissors”.
- Leave little gifts at the breakfast table on Saturday mornings.
- Make homemade slime.
- Hug them every day and say “I love you” every day.
You can print this out as a checklist— 38 Ways to Connect with Our Kids
Here’s to building better families together–