Children need connection, children need to feel accepted, cared for, they need to feel they are important and special. We are often so busy we don’t have that much time to be with our children, and sometimes, even when we are physically present, we are not fully present (we are thinking of what to cook for dinner, we worry about paying our bills, we are thinking of the list of jobs we still have to do); so we are present with the body but not with our heart and mind, and believe me, our child knows and feels the difference.
So here is an amazing, easy, fun, idea that can help you and your child feel connected, be fully present with each other, play and really create strong bonding and respect. I call it “OUR MAGIC TIME”, but you can call it “SPECIAL TIME”, “ME AND YOU TIME”; the main thing is that it is a time for YOU and YOUR CHILD ONLY!!
The idea of this is to have a time, 5minutes, 10minutes, half an hour, one hour (whatever you have, you decide) and be fully present with your child, telling him/her that during this time you will be for her/him and your child can choose whatever activity he/she wants (just pre-frame at the beginning that it needs to be safe!!!). Your child can choose to read a book under the blankets with you, get a cuddle, draw; it does not matter what he/she chooses, WHAT MATTERS IS YOUR PRESENCE.
There are few simple “rules” for you to follow to make this time really special and effective: don’t do anything else than being with your child: don’t check your phone, don’t go to make yourself a cup of tea, don’t tidy up the house, don’t say “oh, I just need to do this, will be back in a sec” – NO – JUST FOLLOW WHAT YOUR CHILD IS DOING (OR NOT DOING – STILLNESS IS MAGIC TOO!!), without any judgment and without making too many questions, but really feeling into the being present. Also, don’t ask “what shall we do?”, as that put an expectation on your child that he/she HAS to do something, while in this Space and Time, they are just allowed to BE. You can just say: “Shall we have some Magic Time?”
You can chose when to have your Special time; some parents have 5 minutes of Special Time every morning before going to work; they find that this really set a nice start of the day for everyone. Some do it when they come back from work to re-connect after long hours. A mum whose son was really grumpy getting dressed each morning offered to do a “Special dressing time”, so she named it, and put all her love, fun, care in dressing her child for school; he loved it and made a massive difference for the rest of his (as well as her) day.
MAGIC TIME is truly a gift for your child, in these busy times. It helps build their sense of connection; it also builds their confidence, as there is someone who totally, completely is with them, supporting what they are doing …. Even if that might mean throwing coloured little pieces of paper all over the floor (that is what my son did once …. It looked beautiful).
If you have any question about Special time or building connection with your children, I would love to be of support.