Conversation and interaction between parents and children have an enormous impact on a child’s development, helping to develop self-esteem and confidence. The more times a parent and child can spend together, the more influence the parent has in shaping the child’s values and behavior. So, how can a parent have more “bonding time” on a daily basis? Here are some suggestions:
1. Maintain a routine for regular family meals. Sitting together at a table – whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner – creates unity, a comfortable feeling of belonging. Thoughts are expressed and shared.
2. Have children assist in the preparation of meals. Children like to handle and work with food, from setting the table to doing some prep work for Mom or Dad. Besides the food tasks, the banter of talk is binding.
3. Assist with homework. This activity provides bonding moments and allows the parent to learn the content of the child’s studies. Sometimes, the parent learns something new.
4. Watch a TV show together. Select one that is family-oriented. A funny show allows the family members to laugh together, helping children develop a sense of humor.
5. Play a board or card game. This activity can be a teaching tool. Children learn to take turns, practice their skill with counting, and accept losing the game sometimes.
6. Plan some family projects that you can do together. Arts and crafts, coloring books, ceramics, and even puzzles can be family projects. Start a puzzle that will take some time to do –maybe days or weeks. Little by little, family members will complete the puzzle, and everyone will be proud to have been a part of its completion.
7. Read together. Whether the parent reads to the child or the child reads to the parent, this activity is extremely bonding.
8. Have library books at home. Take the children to the library once a week, and everyone selects books. Share the books at home. This activity will help create a love for books and reading.
One of the dictionary’s definitions of bonding is “making a connection.” When family members “connect” often, there will be a feeling of unity, security, and affection.
Dolores Palladino – Single Parent Survivor