Most parents these days complain that their children are not connected with them or are more interested in gadgets and the virtual world or with their friends online most of the waking hours and they are right about it. But why are the children doing so?
A small percentage of these children may be rebellious by nature and do not respond to any attempt of bonding from the parents, but that is a very small percentage. Though children are severely attracted by the glittering external world and the e-world, they are ultimately human and they do have human needs.The most important human need is to feel important and needed.
Having said that how many of us are putting conscious efforts into making others in our life feel important and needed? Provided you do not get defensive you would be able to see clearly that most of your efforts and time is put into getting the child through the school and then university with as good marks as possible. In families where the child is really good at studying and personally dedicated he/she won't have time for anything else but his school, tuitions,extra curricular activities and self study. The other family where the child has no interest in studying, years pass by with a familiar scenario where the child is loitering around with gadgets and TV and parents are shouting and swearing and threatening the child. Where is the time to bond?
Hencetoday let us discuss some ways of bonding with your children in your and yourchildren’s hectic life schedule:
- Eat at least one meal with them- May sounddifficult to begin with given that you all have different schedules but atleast till the time the children are still at school dinner time can be plannedtogether. If not every day at least 3 nights a week.
- Ensure the together meal is without TV or anyother gadget. No one brings the mobile to the table can be a good plan.
- Talk with you children- Please note- we have totalk WITH our children and not TO them. Share your day with them ask abouttheirs.
- What did I do good today- Introduce a timeduring the day when all of you share one good thing that you did. This wouldalso encourage the children to go through their day with more consciousness andwork on good activities deliberately.
- One parent one child- It is a great idea that oncea week one parent spends special time with one child only while the other childis with the other parent. Other day of the week you interchange. This giveseach child an opportunity to bond with each parent and to feel special.
- Do one activity of their choice with them once aweek. It can be playing video games or making a bed sheet dollhouse.
- One day a week involve them in your chores andlet them understand how much efforts you put in every day to make their lifecomfortable. This also gives them a sense of belonging.
- Share stories from your childhood about yourmisadventures, and the time you go punished and the time you learnt some bitterlesson. They love to know about the real you, otherwise many children end upfeeling that they cannot measure up to their parents.
- Appreciation time: Once a week passing theappreciation bowl around where everyone writes one good point about every othermember is a great idea where each one gets their share of appreciation.
All these activities can be taken up with any age of children and other family members. In addition to bonding, these activities also create lifelong memories for your children which keep them attached to the family even after they leave the nest for new pastures.
Having said that each set of parent-child has its specific issues and bonding challenges,which need to be resolved with particular care and consideration. To address such problems, undergoing expert counseling by both, parent and child, is highly recommended. Wherever you may be, you can access to a good counselor, either in person or through online counseling.