After a long day at childcare and work it is very important to make the time to connect with your child. It can be so easy to get into the habit of rushing everything. We all know the witching hour can be a bit of a nightmare! However to help your child feel secure, this is not something you want to skip!
Obviously your strategies will have to slightly change depending on your child and how many children you have. But here are some to start with!
Physical connection can come in many forms and is super important for both you and your child. The reason for this is a little hormone called oxytocin, often referred to as “the love drug”. When you have close physical connections with your child you brain releases oxytocin which strengthens your bond and also makes you both feel happy and connected! How cool is that?
Some of the things you can do after a long day to connect physically are
Babywear – If you have a small child and own a baby carrier this is a great way to be able to do all of the things that need to be done at the end of the day while reconnecting both physically and emotionally. You can just snuggle, or chat and sing songs!
Have a bath – Bath time usually comes right before bed time by why not bump it up in the schedule. Having a bath together can be so relaxing for both parties. We all know that children calm down when they are in water and the same can be said about us.
You could even put some soft music on, light some candles (not within reach of the children of course) or diffuse some oils or wax melts. This will help keep bath time calm, rather than chaotic.
Just cuddle – seems simple enough but something that can often be forgotten. Put your phone down, forget about what else needs to be done and just set 15 minutes aside for snuggles! Your mother child bond will strengthen so much from setting time aside in your day to do this and it is extra important if you have spent some time apart.
Reconnecting emotionally really crosses over with connecting physically as I mentioned earlier with oxytocin assisting with your mental state. Some of the things you can do to reconnect emotionally are:
Reading stories – Most children will want to do this while sitting on your lap anyway so it is kind of like killing two birds with one stone. Looking at the pictures in the books, laughing together and just being happy in each others company will do wonders for your mother/child bond.
Chatting – Seems simple enough but just talk to your kids, even if you need to do this while cooking dinner. Talk about what you are making, talk about the colours and textures in the food. Ask questions about what their favourite foods are.
You can also chat about the days you have both had and point out your highs and lows. One really good habit of getting into is talking about what you are grateful for, this will really cause your child to think and dig deep and will make you both appreciate life that little bit more.
It is a really good idea to be talking and connecting with your children while you are doing the normal things we have to do as a parent at the end of the day. Get them involved! This will allow them to feel connected and really and truly supported.
A lot of the techniques we have listed here are basic things that you do in everyday life but the difference is that you want to be intentional and you want to be present. Setting some time aside for reconnecting will make the being away from each other a lot less stressful on everyone.