Sunday, August 19, 2007

How to make strong connections with your Children.

What do you think your children will remember from their childhood? Experts say the littlest thing from parents can make the biggest difference in the life of a child. Learn how you can build strong connections with your children. Show Them How Much You Care.

Ways to build Connections.

Create Keepsakes :

One of the greatest gifts you give to your children is the gift of memories. A small keepsake from Mom or Dad can bring a smile to a child's face, or help them keep their chin up on an especially bad day. Here are some ideas for creating memories with your kids:

Take a picture of your child each year on their birthday. To help chart their growth, have them wear one of their mother's dresses, or their father's shirts. Then you can create an album that both you and your child will treasure.

Every year, write a letter to your child. In the letter, tell them what they were like at that time, who their friends were and what they liked to do. The letters will give your child a complete picture of their life, and will make a great birthday or wedding gift in the future.

Sit down in front of a video camera and record messages to your children. Share your words of wisdom, reinforce important lessons about life, and tell them how much you love them. Having your face and voice on videotape could mean more to them than you'll ever know.

Gather recipes that have been passed down through your family, or that are your kids' favorites, and make a family cookbook. When they're cooking their first meals on their own, they'll be thinking of you.

Tuck little notes in your child's lunch each day. Whether it's a joke, some encouraging words or just saying "I'm thinking about you," your kids will appreciate the thought.

Have Bedtime Rituals

When it's time for your kids to go to bed, take the opportunity to create some daily rituals with them. Having a familiar routine with parents at the same time each night can create a sense of closeness and comfort for your children.

Say the same thing to your kids each night before they go to sleep;

When your children are very young, rock them to sleep with a lullaby. As they get older, they will still like to hear the song, and it will take on a special significance to them.

Set aside an amount of time (15–30 minutes) to spend with each child when they go to bed. Let them tell you about their day, or talk about whatever is on their minds. They will appreciate this special time with you.

Read to your child before they fall asleep. Set a time limit, or a number of books you'll read. Not only will this time help you bond with your child, it will help them become better readers in the future.

Begin a Family Tradition

Traditions are great ways to strengthen family bonds and get your child to participate in activities. The more traditions you have, the more opportunities you'll have to come together as your child grows older and goes out into the world!

Food Traditions
Many families come together to celebrate major holidays. Include foods that have been passed down from generation to generation. Tell stories about where the recipes came from to give your children a sense of family pride.You don't have to wait for a major holiday to build a tradition around food! Whether it's pizza, spaghetti or hot dogs, designate one night a week for your kid's favorite dinner.

Annual Photos
Try taking a picture each year on the same day, like a birthday. Dress them in your own favorite outfit and watch how they grow into your clothes over the years!On the same day each year, write your child a letter and let them know what they were like at that age. Then, create an album made up of these photos and letters.

Secret Handshakes
Make your child feel special by creating a secret handshake only the two of you know.

Anniversary Dinner
Include your children in your anniversary celebration! Just as many kids enjoy making their parents breakfast on Mother's Day and Father's Day—maybe they'd like to play restaurant and serve the two of you dinner!

Memory Gardens
Planting a memory garden in your backyard is a great springtime activity for you and your child to do together. Include flowers and trees that match your child's personality.

Create One-on-One Time with Family

If you think that you're giving your kids what they need by packing their schedules with after-school activities, think again. What they need is a little quality time with you! Learn to limit your kids' activities and carve out time to make your children feel special.

Ask Your Children What They Need
Ask your kids what they want out of your family lifestyle. Give each child a piece of paper. Ask, "If I could give you three things in regards to time and activities together, what would they be?"

Institute Date Night
Create "date nights" for each child. On a regular schedule, one or both parents should take each child to a movie or out to dinner. This simple time with you will mean a great deal to your child.

"Special Time" at Bedtime
Set aside at least 10 minutes of "special time" for each child every night when they go to bed. Use this time to read, talk about their day or sing a song together.

Sit Down for Dinner
Make it a priority to eat at least one meal together as a family each day. This will give you time to reconnect before or after a busy day.

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