From Presents to Presence – 5 Ways to Connect With Your Child Right Now

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If your family is anything like mine, December was an abundant month. There was no shortage of fun, friends, family, food, or…  PRESENTS. But with the holidays now behind us, we’ve settled back into our normal routines, with normal social calendars and normal day-to-day agendas. So this month, I’m shifting my thinking from presents to presence, and I’m here to share with you five ways to connect with your child right now.

5 Ways I’m Connecting With My Kids Right Now

I want to start off by saying none of these tips for connecting with your child are earth-shattering. For a few days, I considered not writing this because it just felt so silly. But then I started to think, maybe the simplicity of it is the best part after all. We’re all busy. We’re all tired. We’re all doing the best we can to raise beautiful little humans while balancing this thing we call LIFE. Sometimes the memories we make with our kids are extravagant; sometimes they’re simple. And that’s magic.

Go on a Special Date

Something my husband and I like to do is take turns having special dates with our kiddos. While it’s fun to do things as a whole family, it’s also really meaningful for our kids to have 1×1 time with one parent. Here are a few ideas for special dates.

  • Enjoy Ice Cream at Pitt Street Pharmacy 
  • Read at the library  
  • Scooter on Pitt Street Bridge 
  • Collect Seashells
  • Go on a Bike Ride
  • Walk the Ravenel Bridge together

Bake Something

This is one of my daughter’s favorite things to do together. She loves cracking the eggs, mixing, and watching what she made bake in the oven. Stuck thinking about what to cook? Here are 20 recipes to make with your kids today! 

Snuggle 

Cuddling is such a simple, sweet way to connect with your children.

  • Watch a Movie – There sure is a lot of pressure not to let your kids watch TV, right? But you know what, snuggling on the couch, under a heated blanket, is such a calm way to end a busy day. It’s something our family looks forward to, and I’m not mad about it!
  • Bedtime – Growing up, my dad was the one who said prayers and read books with me. I can remember begging him to stay in my room and rub my back longer because it made me feel so cozy and loved. While we all know bedtime can be such a nightmare at times, at its best it can also be such a sweet bonding time. So tonight, go into your kids’ bedtime routine knowing you’re going to spend a little extra time with them. Read a longer book. Scratch their backs. Play with their hair. Add in a special routine. (Before bed, my daughter and I do “nose kisses” by rubbing our noses together.) Get in an extra snuggle, because you just never know when they’ll outgrow it.

Get Crafty

I’m not sure about your kids, but mine LOVE to paint, draw, use Play-Doh, or do any type of craft. Recently, I went to Hobby Lobby and found a  cheap wooden birdhouse. My kids had a great time painting it (and themselves…and the counters…) When it was dry, we took it to the nursing home and hung it up outside of my mom’s window. They loved making Grammy a special gift, and she treasures it.

Play

Our family was recently “snowed in” in North Carolina, and I saw firsthand how fun it was for our kids to do play with us. Quality time is the key here. Depending on your child’s age, you can try a new board game, build a fort, play hide-and-seek, dress up dolls, kick a ball, put together a puzzle… anything they want.

May your memories be filled with more presence than presents this month.