Strengthening Parent/Child Bonds: 6 Tips for Dating Your Children

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In working with clients over the years, I've witnessed so many missed opportunities for parents and kids to connect that I've begun pointing out simple ways you can "date your kids."
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In addition to regularly planned and scheduled dates with your children, what if I were to propose the idea that you can have a date with your kids in the car, over the kitchen counter, or even on the cell phone (gasp!).
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Six Tips for Dating Your Children

Here are six ways in which you can strengthen your parent/child bonds by dating your children:

1. Prepare in advance. Before you get the kids in the car, wrap up any phone conversations, prepare yourself to be surrounded by their energy, take a few minutes to shift gears, clear your head, and try to recall what they had going on today, and then meet them with a smile.
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2. Be present. Embrace the connection with them, don't worry about the surroundings, focus on what they find interesting, let them tickle your funny bone, stop worrying about parenting them, and finds ways to accept who they are becoming.
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3. Maximize car time. Do one of the following activities to take advantage of the uninterrupted time you have in the car each day with your children:
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  • Have a singing date by choosing a song, belting out the lyrics while acting like a rock star. This especially helps relieve tension if you're running late!
  • Take a stroll down memory lane by pointing out to your child when something reminds you of your childhood, explaining what the experience meant to you.
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4. Have a quick conversation date to recap your day. Every day my kids know they are going to be asked the following questions during the drive home from school or sports, over dinner, or while getting tucked into bed:
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  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What was the most exciting thing that happened?
  • What was the worst part of your day?
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Not only does this keep us connected, it also stimulates a part of their brain related to memory development.
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5. Go on a phone date (gasp!). Yes, I said it! Use the cell phone for a date with your kiddo! Why? You may be wondering? Doesn't it encourage them to be on it even more? Well, yeah. With you. It can be a great tool for when there just isn't time.
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6. Mix it up a little. Go on dates that are outside the norm, including:
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  • Have a game night date.
  • Go camping indoors.
  • Have a carpet picnic..
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What are creative ways you have found to date your kids?
April Welch is a Mental Clutter Expert | Mom of 2 boys | Wife to 1 Fireman | Horrible Cook | Loyal Friend | National Public Speaker who gives you permission to be imperfect.
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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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