10 Simple Ways to Connect with your Kids

#advertisement I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #CustomFitRelief #DrScholls 

10 Simple ways to Connect with your kids

image2As you know, Avery started kindergarten this year! It has been amazing to watch her make new friends, learn new things and have new experiences (like her first field trip, where the highlight was getting to ride a school bus!) She’s really thrived in her new school, and life is good!

However, as good as it’s been, it’s still been a major adjustment for both of us! I went from having my sidekick with me all day, every day (other than the 9 hours a week she was in preschool) to being without my buddy from 8 to 3, 5 days a week! With school and after school activities, our time together has really been cut.

Because of this, I’ve really had to make sure that the time we do have together is quality time. We have some great conversations in the car on the drive to and from school.  It’s amazing the questions and comments she comes up with at 7:15 in the morning. In the afternoons I’m more likely to learn about all the things that make her angry (Usually me)  or annoy her (Usually me, again!) or ruin her life (you guessed it, usually me!) But our best conversations happen during our Friday afternoon walks.

Connect with your child

I’ve found that Friday, after school, is when Avery is finally ready to tell me about all the things she’s done through the week. (On the other days of the week my questions are usually met with “Nothing!” or “I don’t know!”  or just a growl)  It also seems that being outside, in nature, helps her to open up a bit more. I can relate, as I feel more relaxed and open when I’m in the woods, too.

We get outside, we get moving, and we enjoy each other company for that hour or so before we have to head home for dinner.

Mother and daughter

The only issue is, by Friday, my body is shot! After a full week of errands, and work, and just being on my feet so much, I am TIRED!  My lower back aches, my feet hurt, and I’d like to just curl up in bed and hibernate.

But, I can’t do that. And I do really love our weekly walks!

While in Walmart, I noticed the Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® kiosk and decided to give it a try! It’s simple.  

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Walk in the woods

It’s so important to me that I can keep moving, without pain, because as I mentioned above, it’s a big part of how I connect with Avery.

There are many other simple ways that you can connect with your kids, and I’ve put together a list of ten, just for you!

10 Simple Ways to Connect with Your Kids

  1. Be an active participant in their activities: I understand that not everyone has the desire or can make the time commitment to coach their kid’s team, or lead their troop, or teach their class. But, I think it’s super important to be there as much as you can.  Go, cheer them on, tell them how much you love to watch them play. Join in when you can, and practice at home.
  2. Get Outside: Walk in the park or just around your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be long. Sometimes Avery and I make one loop around the park, other days we walk until it starts to get dark!image1
  3. Make a Date: Once a week or once a month, schedule a date with your child.  It doesn’t have to be anything big. It’s just a chance for you to have one on one time with your child. Go to dinner, or even just out for ice cream! This can be especially nice if you have more than one child.
  4. Work together on something: Set a goal, or start a project. Something simple like “Walk 3 miles a week” or more challenging like “Train for and run a 5k” Or work on a project together. Maybe you work on a huge building brick set, or paint a mural, or read a whole book series! Find a project that you can both work on and complete, together!
  5. Volunteer Together: This is similar to the previous tip, but different enough that I thought it needed it’s own bullet point. Find a cause that you both care about, or that your child cares about and volunteer your time to support it! Maybe you help with a beach clean up because your daughter is passionate about marine life. Or you love knitting, and want to share that hobby with your child by working together to make hats for the homeless, or newborn babies! Visit a nursing home or spend a day volunteering at an animal shelter or food bank.
  6. PLAY!: Get on the floor and play with your kids. Be silly together! Get messy! Play a game! Have a dance party! Be creative! Just play!
  7. Put the Phone Down: Are you always on your phone, checking Facebook or e-mail or work?  Yeah, I’m guilty, too! As a mom who works from home, I can often find it hard to disconnect and set boundaries. I’ve found myself working at dinner, during family outings, and even on vacation! My daughter has noticed and will say “You’re always working!”  So when you are with your kids, make a true effort to put the phone away. I like to tell Avery “I’m going to leave my phone in the other room while we play, so you have my full attention!” and she loves it!
  8. Embrace Their Interests: Is your child super interested in something that maybe you know nothing about?  Help them learn more! Show them that it’s important to you that they explore those interests.  For example, Avery has been very interested in drawing and illustration.  We attended the Festival of Children’s Books and Authors at her school. The next day I took her to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and purchased a learn to draw book.  It means a lot to kids when you help to nurture the things they are passionate about by giving them these tools and experiences.image6
  9. Just Listen: Let your child know that you are there to listen, even on the days they don’t want to talk. Saying “I understand that you don’t want to talk about this right now, but when you are ready, I will be here to listen!”  Means a lot to adults, and even more to kids! You don’t always have to give advice–like adults, kids don’t always want advice. Sometimes they just need to get things off their chest, or talk through a problem. Just listen.
  10. Include them: My daughter loves when we include her in our “grown-up” world.  Getting to have dinner with me and one of my friends, helping her Dave work on a kitchen, helping me make decisions about what dress to wear to a wedding, or something as simple as deciding what to make for dinner. Ask them their opinions, and let them help!

How do you connect with your children? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your ideas!

10 Simple Ways to Connect with your Kids

10 Ways to Connect with your Kids

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