I have always heard, “parenting is one of the hardest jobs on earth.” Of course, I never really understood, until I became a mom. Every child is different and every child goes through different moments in life. Even if they are siblings, they are different! Parenting is a learning process. We learn as we go. Some days are harder than others. Bonding with your child at every stage is quite the challenge. As I am typing this, my oldest is asking if he can go to the park. He, of course, has a book report to redo since he rushed through it and misspelled most of the words. I told him he can go if he re-writes the paper neatly and no misspelled words. Not every moment is joyful, as he is pretty upset right now. Well, you ask, how do you bond with your child at every stage?
The newborn stage may be the easiest, in terms of needs. Babies have basic needs. Eat, sleep and change diapers. Baby knows mom’s smell and touch. Love your baby. Nurture and kiss your baby. Pick him up when he cries and change his wet diapers right away. Feed him and sing lullabies until he falls asleep. This stage goes by so quick! Enjoy it, even though there are many sleepless nights!
Bonding with Toddler
My youngest is a toddler. Now 16 months old. He requires a lot of attention. But since he isn’t an only child, I have to schedule certain times of the day for play time. Of course, we play together throughout the day but I mean one on one time. To make our time even more special, we take a baby and mom swim class! It gives me a break from home and some personal time with my little one. Read to your little one, play and make him giggle. Lots of hugs and kisses and make sure you are there to pick him up when he gets afraid of strangers! This is a stage when little ones are very much attached to their parents.
Once your child is 3 years old, he can start preschool. And there are more activities you can do together as a family. Your preschooler will understand more and has a larger vocabulary, which makes things easier to communicate and less frustration for your little one. Schedule activities, such as trips to the zoo or walks around the neighborhood. The park is also a fun place to go and meet other parents and children. This prepares kids when they start school. They will see friends they’ve met at the park!
The Elementary age is another fun stage. I have to say they are all fun! As your child gets older, it’s important to spend one on one time. Try for at least once a week. My 9 year old loves art. Even if I have a busy day, I at least take 15 minutes of my time to draw with him. It makes him so happy! Target runs to get a piece of candy is even more exciting! My husband and I take turns with our kids 1:1 time. I may stay home and do art stuff with my 9 year old while my husband goes to a basketball game with my 10 year old and vice versa.
My 10 year old is in 5th grade, which is considered middle school, here in Massachusetts. Quite young for middle school. But kids these days are much older mentally than I was at 10-13 years old! I mean I was still playing with dolls when I was 10. My 10 year old is all about sports and doesn’t play with toys. My bonding time with him is game night! It’s our thing. See my post below on activities with kids. His bonding time with dad is sports and listening to music. Again, I stress 1:1 time. Soon he won’t want to hang out with mom and dad but rather go to the park ALL THE TIME LOL. I can’t blame him. I was the same way as a teenager. Even though he is 10 years old, it’s the thing to do at this age! Meet friends at the park!
High School and Beyond
I am not at this stage yet but I hope to have a trusting relationship with my boys as they get older and become adults. By doing special activities, spending time together, listening to them, teaching them to never lie, I hope I am teaching them to have a loving relationship with my husband and I and with their siblings. That they can come to us with anything and we will always be there. No judgement but a learning experience. Relationships change when you are a child and as adult. And so I hope to continue to learn and have that relationship ALWAYS.
1:1 Bonding Ideas
- Go out fo breakfast or lunch
- Watch a sports game
- Draw art
- Movie night
- Game night
- Walks and talks
- Shopping together
- fun talks – get to know each other activities (my son loves this)
- Stories when you were a kid
- Meditate or do yoga together (its relaxing and funny at the same time)
Helpful Parenting Posts
- Breastfeeding vs Formula – My Experience
- 6 Winter Activities To Do With Your Kids
- Meal Ideas for 6 Month Old Baby Right from your Kitchen!
- Top 3 Baby Gadget Must Haves (Baby’s First Year)
- 10 Helpful Baby Hacks