While most parents focus on their children’s well-being, happiness and success, they fail to realise the importance of nurturing the parent-child bond. Yes, ensuring that the child’s basic physical and emotional needs are met is vital; however, it is equally important to make sure that parents enjoy a strong emotional connect with their children. And, this has to begin early. Here are some ways to bond with your little one.
1. Bedtime stories
Bedtime stories can be the best bet to bond with your toddler, as it features in your daily routine. Make it a ‘special connect’ time with your child. You could either narrate or read to your little one. You can go in for subtle narrations punctuated with gestures; or, even hold the child close to you while reading to her and give her a squeeze or two now and then. Such approaches will strengthen the bond.
Whether it is peekaboo or playing catch, games, apart from being fun, also serve as good bonding activities. The joy and camaraderie they bring will surely make you both relish every moment. If you aren’t up to running around and playing, go in for simple board games or even playing with their toys. In short, be their playmate.
3. Arts and craft activities
Engaging together in arts and craft activities is another way of bonding with your tiny tot. Together you can come up with simple greeting cards or ‘thank you’ notes. Or, you can paint pebbles and shells. Once done, you can display your work in the living room showcasing them as ‘Dad and son gallery/Mom and daughter gallery’.
Get your child to help you maintain a tiny flower or vegetable patch in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, you can place a few pots in your balcony; even indoor plants will serve the purpose. Right from the time you sow the seed to watering the plants, pruning and de-weeding them, get your little one involved in all the activities. You can even take a ‘selfie’ with your child and the plant for its different stages of growth.
5. Hugs and kisses
Physical contact with your child can be very therapeutic for both of you. At every opportunity, make sure to hug and kiss her. Such overt display of affection will go a long way towards strengthening the relationship between you and your child.
6. Daily walks
Make this a ritual every day. It could be a walk to the park or a simple stroll in the neighbourhood every evening. As you walk together, hand-in-hand, engage in chit-chat. Point out people and objects to your little one and get him to observe what is happening around him.
7. Combined chores
Get your child to help around at home with little chores. Let her assist you in kneading the dough, preparing a sandwich, and other such activities. Engaging together in such tasks will intensify the attachment between the two of you.
8. Piggy-back riding
How can we forget good old piggy-back riding? Get your child to cling on to your back and do a gentle jig. Or, simply trot from one room to the other with your child on your back, gently swaying as you go along.