We often wonder especially before we become parents how we were going to cope when the children start to arrive, what we would need to do to make a success of parenting.Well there is good news; from my own experience I have discovered that children’s wants are indeed very few and within reach. Let us examine these seven tips that are ‘sure bankers’ and have been proved to work over and over again without fail and see if you won’t be transformed.
1. Come into their bedroom at night, tuck them in, tell them a bedtime story, sing them a song. This has worked even on T2, my most independent and carefree one. I overheard her talking to T1
T2: ” Guess what happened last night?”
T1: “What ?”.
T2: With a broad smile, “Mum came to hang out”.
So little effort on my part making so much impact.
2.Tell them stories about when you were little. I tell you, there are no stories as interesting as those ones and surely every parent should have some stories to tell.
3. Spend quality time with them or just one of them at a time. For example its mid-term break period in Nigeria right now, T1 and T2 went with their friends to the cinema on Wednesday,(for the first time without me following them), and on Thursday, I had a date with T3 (my soon to be nine year old) to the same cinema to see Disney ‘Frozen’. The look on her face? Priceless.
4. Cook something nice and special. It does not have to be expensive or your ‘catering practical’ type of dish. In the past I have gotten away with ‘puff puff’ ‘moin-moin’ ikokore, edi-ka-ikong’ ‘isi ewu’ and dough nut and ice cream. Let them join in the preparation, it fosters bonding like magic.
5. .Let them play outside a lot. especially in this technology driven age of game consoles, TV, electronic gadgets etc, their chances of outdoor play is being eroded more and more. I have taught my children how to play ten-ten ,one of my childhood games, we also sometimes have showers in our swimsuits in the garden with the garden hose. There are lots of other outdoor activities.
6. Cuddle under the blanket and watch TV or any nice film together. in fact this is what triggered this post. Just yesterday we (the four of us) snuggled under a duvet and watched ‘You again’ together.
7. Discipline them. You will be surprised to know that they don’t mind, it makes them feel that you care especially if you have introduced this measure early and they have gotten used to it from scratch, they will prefer it to being ignored if they know they have done something that should attract discipline.
If your child falls in a higher age bracket, do not despair, if you did all the above in the past, you have already built a solid foundation. If not, there are still lots of activities and ideas that can bring about a closer relationship. The bottom line is bonding.
How are you faring?