Making Lifelong Memories
Between work, school and extracurricular activities, you may feel disconnected from your family and kids. If you feel like you are texting your kids more than talking, and yelling at them more than playing with them, follow these 10 simple tips for bonding and connecting with your kids.
Take your kids on a date.
You plan a date night with your husband to reconnect, so why not plan one with your kids as well? "Take them out and just have breakfast one on one. Let them talk and tell you whatever comes to mind," says Michelle Morton, mompreneur and mom to three boys. "By letting them lead, you will get them to talk and open up more than if they think they are being questioned."
feel An adrenaline rush with your kids.
"Bonding needs an experience to happen, not sitting and watching TV," says author Silvana Clark. "Do something exciting! Yes, you can go on a bike ride. But is that bonding? Instead, have a race with your child (on a safe path) or ride down a grassy hill, or go over a jump. You're not risking your child's life; you are just doing something that will have your child saying, 'Remember, Mom, when we rode our bike through the creek? That was awesome!'"
Bust out your craft box and get creative and crafty with your kids. "Crafting is a time of community and creativity that benefits both the parents and the children, and allows them to work together to make something new," says Caitlin Kavanaugh, editor of favecrafts.com.
do some Gardening.
Polish off your green thumb, Mama! "Gardening is an incredible activity to bring parents and children together!" says Annette Pelliccio, founder of The Happy Gardener and single mom of two daughters, ages 8 and 10. "Our first family garden was developed when my oldest child was 2. We have had so much fun harvesting the berries and bringing them into our kitchen to make strawberry muffins and blueberry pancakes. What a wonderful way to teach children about nature, sustainability and spending quality time together!"
Take a road trip.
Whether you are driving across the country or three hours to another town, taking a road trip is a fun way to make new experiences and talk. Sheri Wallace, editor of Road Trips for Families.com, finds that she bonds best when traveling with her kids. "It is admittedly a bit extreme, but my family is in the middle of a 47-day road trip right now," she says. "The most important reason is to spend time with my daughter. I'm divorced, she's 10, and we don't see each other enough. So, we're driving all top 10 scenic drives in the northern Rockies this summer.
Up next: 5 More ways to bond with your kids >>