Did you know it only takes 5 minutes of quality time a day with your child to give them a sense of emotional connection with you? That’s it! Just 5 minutes of down-on-their-level, one-on-one time per day – you can do that right? And to make that time even more valuable, mix in the 5 things mentioned above: praise, reflection, imitation, describing behavior, and enjoyment.
If you’re wondering where all this is coming from, it’s one of the simplest things I learned in that Love and Logic course my husband and I took last year. (Remember how I promised I’d be sharing about it? Turns out it’s actually kind of hard to condense 4 months of classes into a blog post – go figure. This is my first attempt at breaking down some of what I learned into short, easily digestible bits.)
Each of these things will do wonders not only in building your bond with your child, but also in building their self-confidence and sense of self. They’re already arranged in an easy to use acronym (PRIDE) but in case you’d like a more permanent reminder, I’ve also made a stick-it-on-the-fridge printable for you here.
Before you get to printing, click through for a short summary of each element…
I could (and probably will) write an entire post on how I do and don’t praise my kids. Basically it comes down to this: be specific and genuine (i.e. avoid lots of generic “good job!”s) and praise effort /avoid labels (i.e. “I like how you kept trying” not “you’re so smart”).
Repeat back what they’re telling you. It sounds simple (it is) but it shows that you’re listening and involved in what they’re saying.
Copying their play and actions has the same benefits as reflection.
Again, this is about noticing what they’re doing. So if they say, “Look mommy!” and push a truck over to you, then you respond with, “You’ve got your new fire truck”.
This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re truly present in the moment and having fun, then you’re kids will notice.
One last thing. If you have more than one child, they will benefit from group playtime with you but individual time (even a few minutes) is important too!
Do you have any tricks to squeezing in quality time with the kids? I’d love it if you’d share with us in the comments.