Nobody said parenting was easy. Many times, you may find your child drifting away from you without any understanding of why. Finding activities that bring the two of you back together can be tricky, but it isn’t impossible! Here are three delightful ways to strengthen the bond between you and your child.
Go swimming. It may sound like a no-brainer, but teaching your child to swim yourself encourages trust between parent and child. You are quite literally their lifeline; in the eyes of a child, three feet of water can be a terrifying prospect, so having their parent there to rely on (rather than a general swimming instructor) can reinforce your relationship and will establish your role as a dependable figure.
Not to mention, swimming is fun! Once your kid has the basics down, they’ll be able to spend hours splashing around with their friends, from the beach to the local pool — and they’ll have you to thank for it. But remember, it’s important to always keep one eye on your child: drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of five, and it can happen very quickly. As long as your child is properly supervised, there should be nothing to worry about.
Pick up a winter sport together. There’s only one thing kids love more than playing in the water, and that’s playing in the snow. If your child loves sports (or hasn’t been exposed to them enough to be sure what they love), get them started in a fun winter sport you can both play. Your child will associate delight with memories of their cool mom or dad as you tear up the snow skiing or snowboarding!
If your kids are old enough, you can introduce them to the joy of snowmobiles; there are currently around 1.2 million snowmobiles in the U.S., demonstrating a popularity for the fast-paced vehicles. If you follow the straightforward safety guidelines (i.e., don’t bring a child under the age of six along as a passenger, and don’t let a child under the age of 16 operate their own machine), family trips through snow-covered forests and winter wonderlands can become as thrilling as they are beautiful.
Teach them another language. This may be the hardest of the three to commit to, but it has the greatest payout. Children absorb information at remarkable rates, and their capacity to grasp and integrate new language rules and vocabularies is astounding. If you don’t know another language, consider signing up for a class together; the time spent bonding over similar skills (and struggles) with bring you immensely closer, and you’ll have a language that is just your own.
Introducing your child to a new language may help the two of your grow closer, but it will also improve your child’s chances at success later on; it has been proven that bilingual employees earn around 20% more per hour than those who only speak one language. By mastering two languages, your child will have access to an exponential number of job opportunities, as well as the option to live and work in native-speaking countries — the possibilities are endless.
The incorporation of these three activities, even in minute levels, into you and your child’s life will encourage a deeper relationship to blossom between the two of you.