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The pandemic may have sent us on lockdown, keeping us from doing regular activities. For many, it was an opportunity to bond with the family. But for me, I found myself busier than ever, more focused on work and making money than actually being fully present for my kid. If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry. There’s a piece of good news. Bonding with your kid doesn’t necessarily mean going on vacation just so you can take a leave of absence from work and focus on family time. There are simple ways to bond with your child and without realizing it, you may already be engaging in such activities.
I’m writing this list not only to assure you that you’re doing a good job at spending time with your child and that you’re giving your best but also as a personal reminder that I am doing it too.
1. Have a picnic
Going on a picnic with the family is an excellent way to strengthen the bond with kids. This way, you’re away from things that distract you and you only have to focus on them. You’ll be surprised at the things that kids may tell you.
Recently, we’ve made Carmen Town Plaza as our go-to destination when we want to have a picnic. It’s Kai’s new favorite, and it’s a 2-hour drive from our home. We will drive that far since there are no people there – well, probably only two families at a time. It’s perfect for that socially-distanced get-together.
We usually stop by Liloan to buy lechon and pass by Danao for that tinapanan fish. Then once at the plaza, we’ll just sit by one of the old benches by the side of the soccer field.
Not only does Daddy get to relax (because for him, driving far or going on a road trip is therapeutic), but our boy loves having the picnic.
2. Watch a movie (in a tent)
Watching movies is one way to bond with our boy, and we usually do it Fridays. Although I technically don’t have a weekend off, I consider Friday as an “okay day to slack.” Also, it’s the weekend for our schoolboy so I am not obligated to wake up really early to prepare him for his online class.
Daddy works at night in the other room so it’s always both of us for the Friday movie nights. If you wish to watch a movie with your kid and create an experience he’ll always remember, take it up a notch by making your own tent.
It’s almost October – and it’s time for those spooky movie nights! Need some list of Halloween movies to watch with kids? Click here!
3. Go for a walk
This is one of the easiest ways to bond with your child. From time to time, Kai and I would go walk around the neighborhood and just talk. He’d ask me tons of questions I don’t know how to answer. We’d pet the kittens in the next block. And we’ll just … talk.
If not a leisure walk around the neighborhood, we’ll visit his favorite “mountain” for a mini nature walk.
4. Read a book
You’re hitting several birds with one stone with this one. When you read a book to your kid, you are fostering the love for reading. It is also one way of helping them develop their language skills better. And you get to spend that special quiet moment with your kid.
5. Goof around
This is probably one of our favorites and best ways to bond with our little man. And really, it happens every day, mostly with his dad. We goof around by tickling each other and it’s quite nasty, but — fart wars! Kai and his dad also plays the “fighting game” as he calls it, where one pretends to be a superhero and the other a villain. And from what we can see, this always gets Kai excited, that when it’s over, he always tells us “Mommy/Daddy, that was really fun!”
There are so many other ways to bond with your child. We all have different approaches on how we spend time with our family. If you love art, that can also be one way. If you’re into music, play some instruments or sing to your favorite tunes. Whatever kind of activity your family enjoys, the most important thing is to do it mindfully – by giving your full attention.
What are your favorite parent child bonding activities? Let me know in the comments!