Keeping Your Relationship Close

As our babies get older they start to pull away and those little ones don’t want to snuggle with us anymore, which just pull on our heart strings.  To keep that relationship close, start routines that build connections with your children. We compiled some fun ways to support the developing child.  They are not in any particular order but all of them will have benefits beyond the immediate and they are excellent ways to support the whole child, every child.

1. Read! One of our favorites! Snuggle up together and enjoy a good story. Children crave repetition of songs and stories because it is necessary for their development. (Guilmartin & Levinowitz, 2003) So be prepared to read that book over and over again. You are creating wonderful experiences that will last a life time for your child.  See #4 for a great tip to use when you read too.

2. Sing! We also love singing traditional finger play tunes and nursery rhymes as well as favorite songs from the radio. According to New Directions Institute, listening to music decreases stress, activates both sides of the brain, and increases learning capacity.

3. Play! Let them take the lead…this is a great way to find out what interests your child. Self-esteem is the single greatest predictor of success in school (Brooks, 1990). It is built when a child is invited to sing, move, or play in a group, and feels membership and contribution to group effort. (Snyder, 1997).

4. Sign! Use American Sign Language (ASL).  This supports communication development, which increases opportunities to bond by creating experiences that nurture and are warm and responsive to promote healthy brain development. The visual components of sign language create “an increase of brain activity by engaging the visual cortex and presenting an additional language to the young learner.” (Daniels, 2001) We suggest using ASL with infants as early as 6 months of age and continuing through their lives.  Don’t forget to speak your words too as this helps with those communication skills and use it while reading.  It’s fun to sign some of the words… it brings the story alive!

5. Laugh! Having a sense of humor and sharing it with your children is critical to a happy life and happy parenting. “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” ~ Charlie Chaplin  Knock, Knock jokes can be the best!!

6. Dance! It is great for exercise AND a healthy brain. Research done with children shows that movement stimulates brain development and draws on the multiple intelligence. (Kim, 1995)  We like putting on all that old time music… you know, from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even the 90’s!!

7. Write a Love note!  You can leave them on their bedroom doors, in their lunch boxes, in the pockets of their coats, on the kitchen table, or anywhere that is special to you.  We don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to receive a love note!!

8. Creating specific family traditions like Friday night game night. Have a family meeting and find out what tradition everyone would like to begin, choose a day, and let the FUN begin!

9. Family Fun Dayswe LOVE Saturdays, check out our Family Fun Tips on Facebook every Saturday for ideas to engage the family.

10. Share special moments together. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Remember, your children will remember the fun times they had with you… enriching their relationships will stay with them for a life-time!



Happy Signing II