Written by Colleen Kessler of Raising Lifelong Learners
You’ve been running since early in the morning. Meals, lessons, chores, clean up, calls, and more meals…
You’ve spent the entire day with your kiddos, but as you take some much-deserved time to relax on the couch while the littles are tucked into their beds (finally!) for the night, you realize that you haven’t actually spent time with any of them over the course of the busy day.
Sure… you were in the same room as your kids.
But the connection and relationship-building you know is so important to their healthy development has been put on the back burner again.
You’re not alone.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily life-ness that happens all around you as you homeschool and parent your kiddos. It’s also easy to give in and let the guilt take over.
Us homeschool mamas are really great at proving to ourselves how terrible we really are at this whole thing, right?
Connecting with your kids in little ways throughout the day doesn’t have to be time-consuming though, and it’s a great way to build their resilience and foster strong emotional intelligence. Instead of overwhelming yourself with the idea that you need to do something big to connect throughout each day, try slipping small connections in the spaces of each day.
These are little, intentional acts that remind your kiddos you love them and they’re super important to you.
Here are fifty ideas to get you started (you can grab a cute printable of this list here):
- Talk about their favorite food
- Ask about their favorite movie
- Play cards
- Hug for the longest time ever
- Make up your own secret handshake
- Snuggle on the couch
- Play a board game
- Make up your own game
- Sing a song
- Make up a song
- Sing along with some music
- Be quiet together
- Color together
- Read a book
- Tell a true story
- Make up a story
- Tell them a story of when they were little
- Tell about something that happened when you were little
- Look at family pictures or baby pictures
- Write in a journal together
- Try a new craft
- Bake cookies
- Cook dinner together
- Tell a joke
- Be silly with each other
- Get down to their level
- Look them in the eye
- Share a snack
- Ask questions
- Write a note
- Talk less; listen more
- Make paper airplanes
- Find cloud pictures
- Play Tic Tac Toe
- Play Tag
- Play Sardines
- Give back rubs
- Paint each other’s nails
- Brush each other’s hair
- Take a walk
- Do an exercise video together
- Make a fort
- Catch lightning bugs
- Be curious
- Ask them to play with you
- Tell them you’re grateful they’re yours
This isn’t an exhaustive list, by any means, but rather a place for you to start. If you grab the printable (HERE) you’ll have these starter ideas at your fingertips and can add to them as you discover more little acts that bring you and your kiddos closer together.
Researchers tell us that it takes five to seven positive interactions to offset one negative one, and if you’re anything like me, you get frustrated and scold your kiddos or meltdown over their math from time to time.
Building in little connections throughout the day can serve as a kind of a positivity bank to shore up your relationships with your children, and build their emotional intelligence so that you’re never running at a deficit. Use this list to get you going, and come up with ideas of your own to add to it.
I hope you’ll use these as inspiration to connect with your kiddos in little ways all throughout the day, and to spark your own ideas custom to the needs of your sweet ones.
What are some of your simple connection ideas?