Mom life in 2018 can be rough. I am over-booked, over-committed and have unreasonably high expectations placed on my teeny tiny shoulders. In an attempt to be the perfect mix of Wonder Woman meets Super Mom, I all too often find myself forgetting to effectively practice an important, fundamental aspect of parenting: Connection. Some nights I lay in bed and ask myself, “Did I make deep, meaningful connections with each of my children today?” OR “Was I too busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off bouncing back and forth between soccer practice, swim lessons and the perfectly curated play date?” All too often, my answer is the later.
I’m at the stage of motherhood where I have enough experience under my belt to have acquired a little wisdom. A bit of wisdom I’ve discovered is that when my children are acting out it’s generally a result of them being tired, hungry OR feeling completely disconnected from me. All of these problems have simple solutions: sleep, food or connecting with mom in a meaningful way. It has been a goal of mine to stop, drop what I’m doing (put the phone in the Bermuda Triangle with notifications off) and connect with my children in a special way on the daily, especially on the busy, chaotic days.
Here is a quick list of simple, yet highly effective ways for moms reconnect with young children when there is disconnected tension building:
1.READ A BOOK TOGETHER!
We all know how important reading is for young, developing brains! It’s also one of my go to activities when I just need to love and connect with my children. I pause daily to simply read a book, or have my five-year old read to me! Some of our current favorite books are:
Giraffes Can’t Dance By Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
Ten Little Pirates By Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? By Bill Martin and Eric Carle
2. BUILD SOMETHING!
This activity is not only great for practicing those fine motor skills, but just sitting together, using your imagination and creating is a perfect way to connect with small children! We love basic wooden blocks and the Magformers Wow Set right now!
3. PLAY WITH PLAY- DOH!
This is a little bit on the messy side for me, but at .88 cents a tube, I’ll take the messy memories and check my OCD clean freak self at the door. Play-doh can be hours of fine motor skill practice and some serious fun! A really simple, inexpensive Play-doh tool kit to add to the over all experience can be found HERE.
4. IMAGINATIVE PLAY AND STORYTELLING!
Lions, tigers, and DRAGONS!?! Oh MY! Is one of our favorite games right now. The dragons also happen to guard a candy castle and sleep on a bed of cotton candy with marshmallow pillows (my kids literally made this story up themselves). There is nothing greater than watching your children develop an imagination and story telling abilities. Who needs an iPad when you have your own stories to tell and games to play? Some of my greatest memories have happened with my children when I choose to ignore my phone and my messy house and we build a homemade fort and act out/ tell stories together! Best of all, this requires zero dollars!
5. GO TO THE PARK! I don’t mean go to the park and play on your phone checking social media and emails while the kids get their energy out (though, those type of park visits are definitely needed from time to time as a mom). I mean go to the park and PLAY with your kids. Climb, run, jump together! Play Hide and Go Seek or Ring Around The Rosies together! The best memories can happen in glorious, fresh air!
This is just a short and simple list I’ve come up with! What are some activities you love to do with your children to feel connected and build memories?