Dad and award-winning author of Love Limits Bill Corbett suggests that you make bonding a part of the bedtime routine by asking kids three questions while tucking them into bed:
"Accept whatever they provide as answers, and don't say anything that might devalue them," he says. "If they struggle in the beginning with coming up with answers, just let it go. If they detect you're doing something different, it might feel uncomfortable to them and they might answer 'nothing.' This simple exercise will bring the parent and the child closer together."
Looking for a way to bond with your toddler? Try massage! "My husband and I adopted a child from Russia last year," says mom Veronica. "He was 14 months old and was already walking. Bonding was important but difficult. I massaged the bottoms of his feet and palms of his hands each night with baby lotion. I did it at first just to soften his skin, but he really enjoyed it, and he looked into my eyes and laughed and cooed each time I did it. Then he began lifting his hands and feet in the air each night for the massage. I think it has applicability for bonding with toddlers in general, since most of them do not sit still for too long. "
"As a forever lover of books and reading, and a writer of children's books, I am unabashedly biased: Reading with kids is one of the best ways to bond... ever," says author Kathy Szaj. "Read with your kids every day for at least 10 minutes no matter what. Since reading with them equals being present with them --the one gift all parents want to give their kids -- taking the time to do this becomes an absolute must, like brushing teeth."
Take your children to a special spot that has meaning to you, whether it is a hiking trail, a beach or garden. "I believe any place you love, but most especially places of nature, where the earth is the main attraction, can be a catalyst for bonding with children," says Seena Hawley. "Of course, the time spent getting there and being there is the other key ingredient. Whether it's a walk down the street to a favorite park or a day's long journey to the wilderness, the investment of time spent with a child is never lost."
"Share your favorite childhood memories with your son or daughter," says creativity expert and author Debbie Mancini-Wilson. "Choose a topic. Each of you take turns telling your story to the other or with older kids, set aside time to write your story, and then get together and swap what you have written."
SheKnows.com shares a few ways you can reconnect with your kids on a regular basis
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