Bonding with parents gives children a sense of security and self-esteem. It has a great impact on a child’s emotional development and social growth. A child uses the relationship between him and his parent as a template to form future relationships. Parents can bond with children of any age. Let’s look at some of the ways you can bond with your toddler.
1. Spend quality time: If you are a busy parent juggling a career and family, set aside some time every day or on a particular day of the week to spend with your child. Spend the quality time with your child doing something that both of you enjoy, like going to a park or the local grocery store, or playing together. Helping parents is another activity that children enjoy doing. So, even when you are busy working around the house, you can involve yourself with your child by asking her to help you. Ask her to do simple chores like arranging her toys or cleaning her play area. Spending time with your child will also provide her with the opportunity to be heard, and to listen and learn.
2. Reconnect after separation: A child depends on his parents to anchor himself and stay oriented. If you are away, he will orient himself around his caretaker or things around him. When you see your child for the first time in the morning or after returning from office, greet him by saying good morning or hello to reconnect. Or, when your child comes back to you after spending some time away, insist that he interacts with you before he does something else.
3. Touch your child: Touching your child can help you convey your feelings to her without using words. Such non-verbal communication plays a critical role in the development of the parent–child bond. By hugging your child, stroking her hair, squeezing her hand, or giving her a goodnight kiss, you can make her feel loved and secure. Also, whenever you touch your child, look for cues to understand which type of touch feels good to her. Once you understand it, respond in that way whenever you get a chance.
4. Communicate with your child: Good communication is all about encouraging your child to talk, listening to what he is says, and responding in a sensitive way. By not talking and listening, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities to learn about and teach your child. So, talk to him about different things and feelings in a language he can understand. When he tells you something, show your interest by saying, ‘Tell me more’ or ‘Is it so?’ Not only will it help him convey what he thinks, but also develop his vocabulary. Also, communicating with your child from a very young age will encourage him to share the details of his life with you when he grows older.
Evidence suggests that positive experiences from a parent–child bond during the first few years of a child’s life play a very important role in shaping his life. Also, taking some time out to bond with your child can give you a break from your busy schedule and make you feel relaxed. So, go ahead and connect with your child.