Connection is an important part of any relationship. For families especially, children and parents need to feel connected, involved and supported by one another. Sometimes experts call this “attachment.” When children are developing, they form attachments to their parents. Sometimes this natural formation of attachment can be disrupted by trauma or abuse and it can take a long time and much effort to repair the damage.
The Johnson family learned the importance of connection. Parents Sara and Rick found that their family grew stronger when they and their two teenage sons started eating family dinners together and developed a routine to wind down in the evenings before bed.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about incorporating more opportunities to connect together in your family:
- Hug them.
- Play an age appropriate game together.
- Listen to music together. Sing along!
- Tell them a story about when they were little.
- Look at family pictures or baby pictures.
- Bake/cook together.
- Look them in the eye. Getting down to their eye level helps.
- Take a walk together.
- Give them your full attention.
- Listen. Really listen. Use empathy.
- Give an affirmation not related to their appearance. Try, “I am so thankful that you are in our family!”