Being a parent is difficult, and part of that is because your children are different people from you. It’s obvious, but you never really thought about it like that. They won’t operate as you do; if anything, they may be completely different from you, making forming connections tricky. Read on to learn the best ways you can connect with your kids.
Take Them Out
A great way to get closer to your kids is to spend the day with them. Experiencing the world together allows you to have shared experiences that can bring you together. However, with that said, if you are not paying attention to them or what they want to do, it may pull you farther apart. For example, they may become frustrated if they want to go out to eat and you only go where you want to go. Keep things open and unplanned, be spontaneous. Doing this creates many opportunities for different things to happen that you can discuss and figure out together.
Find a Shared Interest
One of the best ways to form a strong connection with your children is by finding a shared interest. If you have a shared interest, you can explore it together and become closer. For example, if they love video games, show an interest in whatever they’re playing and potentially join them if that’s an option. You could also surprise them with video game-related gifts or talk with them about what upcoming games they’re excited about. Alternatively, take them to a game or enroll them in sports if they love sports. Sports are incredibly important in many people’s lives; if you share that with them, you’ll become much closer.
In addition to simply hanging out with your children and finding a shared interest, you must be transparent with them. Part of the reason it can be hard to connect with them is the barrier between parents and children. When you’re a kid, you hate this barrier and the idea that you’re not old enough to know what’s happening. Eliminate this barrier for them, or at least let them in on some of what’s happening in your world.
For example, talk to them about your work, friends, interests, etc. While some of it may be boring, it will excite them to know you trust and respect them enough to let them in on the “adult world.”
You can connect with your kids with these tips, but it is important also to remember that they are kids. They’ll likely change opinions on things five times in the next hour. Something they love now may seem dumb to them later. It would be best if you stayed open and willing to work with them on their schedule, and then you can best form a solid emotional connection.