Raising a child is hard work. In fact, people never tell you just how hard it can be. One of the hardest things to accomplish during the hustle and bustle of daily life is figuring out how to stay connected with your child. With an inundation of technology, busy schedules, and after-school activities, finding some downtime to connect is in short supply. We have come up with a few ways to get, and stay, connected with your child regardless of their age or activity level.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Whether you are at home with your youngster, or busy at work during the day, you’re probably always trying to carve out some special time to connect with your young child during their formative years. Creating a routine and sticking to it is a great way to set aside valuable mother-child time. For example, if you are a busy working mom, perhaps you’ll want to start an extra special night-time routine. Give your child a bath, find out how their day went, read them a story on an iPad, or make up a magical game the two of you can play. These memories will last a lifetime for both you and your child, and they’ll feel as close and connected to you as you do to them.
You can connect with a tween fairly easily through mobile games. It is very easy to forget that connecting with your child should be fun. You might focus all of your efforts on making sure they eat their veggies, or their homework gets finished. Make sure you spend a bit of time each day actively engaging with them. Your child is probably getting into electronics at this point, so share a game with them. For example, pass your iPhone back and forth for a puzzle game, or connect with them via Words with Friends. Not only are these games educational, but you’ll show your child that you aren’t all about the “rules”. Now is a good time to consider giving your children access to a phone. You’ll be able to text and chat throughout the day even while you’re away. Most experts agree children older than 9 can handle the responsibility of a cell phone.
Connecting with a teenager can be difficult, especially when both of you have a smartphone in hand all the time. Technology can be a detriment to connecting with kids, argue some people, but you can use that technology to your advantage, too, especially with teenagers. Follow your kids on social media. See what they are up to on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, or comment on new stories or interests they share on social media. Teenagers are deeply connected with social media, so if you show an interest in what they are doing, even if it’s through your smartphone, they’ll notice.
Don’t rely solely on social media though. Even if you’re a busy working mom, take the time to send your son or daughter a quick text message to check in. You can send hourly messages if your child is home alone, just to make sure they’re doing well. Not only will it ease your mind, but it will also allow your child to know you are available. Be sure to discuss phone safety and remind them how important it is that they take their phone with them wherever they go so you can get in contact with them. This makes it easier to stay connected, and helps keep them safe.