Makin’ It Better NEWSLETTER
Oregon Workers’ Compensation | Personal Injury | Social Security Disability
1139 Exchange St., Astoria, OR 97103 • 503-325-8600 • JoeDiBartolomeo.com
GIVE 12 HUGS A DAY
5 WAYS TO CULTIVATE A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR KIDS
Create an ‘Unwind Hour’ It may seem like there’s never enough time, which is why you have to make it. For some families, the hour after school is the best time to engage with each other. For others, bedtime might be a good chance to talk and catch up. Either way, make that time every day. Mediator and co-parenting expert Polly Tatum recommends setting aside time after school to connect with your kids. “When kids come home, put all electronic devices away for an hour and communicate with your children,” Tatum says. “Ask them what the best part of their day was and what they learned. Try to ask probing questions, and if one topic doesn’t pique their interest, move on. Really try to engage for the next hour.” Encourage Questions “Why is the sky blue?” “How are mountains made?” “Why do giraffes have long necks?” You might not always know the answer, but as your child experiences the world, they’re going to ask you questions. Encourage those questions, and know you don’t always have to have the answer. Promote your child’s development and problem- solving skills by letting them explore those questions and guiding them to — instead of giving them — the answers. Embrace Emotions We sometimes need time to process our emotions, and kids have to learn how to
When you imagine your kids as adults, what do you see? Do you imagine that your lives intersect? Are you still close with them? That time is still years away, but if you hope to have a long-lasting relationship with your kids, now is the time to start building it. From birth to age 2 is when the most critical social development occurs in humans, and for the social part of the brain to grow, your child needs your attention. But even after that, it’s important to continue cultivating your relationship. However, it’s not just about the quantity of time you spend together. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Parents and carers will have a relationship with their child, but it is the quality of the relationship that is important.” Hug to Build Trust There’s one little gesture that can go a long way — a hug. An article in Psychology Today recommends 12 hugs or other physical connections a day. Yes, it’s that simple; hug each other more. Remember how good a hug feels? Hugging is one of the simplest ways to demonstrate affection and build trust. According to Dr. Srini Pillay, it’s because the embrace helps deactivate the fear center of your brain — the amygdala — and stimulates oxytocin, which increases trust. Here are five ways you can foster that relationship, starting today.
do that too. Let your kids know it’s okay by helping them through their emotional outbursts. It might be best to have these conversations after an outburst rather than during it. Talking to them about how they’re feeling and why they behaved the way they did will help them let go of any negative emotions they’re hanging on to and learn how they can react differently in the future. Have a Tea Party Playtime is one of the ways young children develop relationships. Through play, they learn to communicate and express themselves. It’s valuable time for kids, and you can grow closer to them by engaging in it. When was the last time your kids begged you to be a princess at their tea party? It might feel silly, but tapping into that imaginative side will benefit both of you. Dr. Kate Eshleman suggests letting your child take the lead. “It’s important to remember to let your child guide the activity,” she says. “Adults rule so much of children’s lives. So let them take the lead on decisions during play.” Children develop habits and learn from you, and one of the most important ways they do that is by interacting with you. Make time for it. You may think you have a lifetime to spend with your children since they’re little, and day-to-day needs can take precedence over relationship-building. Don’t let that happen. Start growing and nurturing those precious relationships today.
The Di Bartolomeo Law Office, P.C. 1139 Exchange Street | Astoria, Oregon | 503-325-8600 | www.JoeDiBartolomeo.com
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