If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. — Rachel Carson
Bonding With Children
Bonding begins when the physical connection, the umbilical cord, is cut. Emotional attachments are more than just feelings. According to Mary Alward, “Infants who have a deep bonding with their mothers become very independent at a young age. This bond also boosts their self-esteem. It is the most important part of a child’s life. Even when their lives are unstable, the bonding process enables them to be self-reliant and enjoy relationships with peers. These children are also more successful in school, especially in mathematics. Bonding creates within the child a sense of confidence and a positive attitude. Infants that don’t bond are more likely to be anxious and insecure.”
Research from Child Development, the University of Illinois published study titled “A Process Model of Attachment-Friend Linkages,” concludes that kids with close, emotional ties to their moms form stronger friendships during their elementary school years (Marcy Paulson, 2009). The research also showed that children who have healthy emotional relationships with their mothers will likely have more positive friendships with their peers.
One of the ways to bond with your child is by having fun together. Fun creates fond memories. Our brains tend to remember the “fun” and even funny things we’ve done. However, what is fun for one child may not be fun for another. Some children love the outdoors while others prefer to read a book or do an indoor activity. Once you understand your child’s personality, you can adjust activities for fun.
- Ask each of your children what he or she most enjoys doing.
- On the calendar, mark a point for doing it or something as similar as possible.
- Since you will want to keep these memories take photos of the occasions.
Here are a few fun ideas from single mothers and ways to bond with family fun:
I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Such a sad and white existence right now, hence the nickname Minne*snow*ta.
With spring right around the corner, it makes me think of gardening. My boys have their own gardening gloves and gardening supplies. I love having them help me pick out annual flowers and plant them. I like trying to find flowers that are the favorite colors of each of my kids. Throughout the growing and harvesting season, they love going out and reaping what we’ve grown. That’s one of our favorite things we do throughout the spring and summer!
When it’s super warm I have my 6-year-old go water the plants, which he loves to do. When the raspberries and strawberries come in, we have them fresh with pancakes. We have pancakes a lot in the summer!
— Mimi in Minnesota
I remember one night when the stars seemed especially bright, spreading a blanket on the ground in the front yard and lying there with my two sons, gazing up into the heavens. As we lay there in the cool, moist air, I had a sense about the importance of such a moment —unguarded and intentional — I knew I was pasting a memory on the spiritual scrapbook pages of our lives. I was taking a “snapshot” of a rare and simple moment, which is hard to come by as a single parent. It was a time spent admiring the beauty of God’s “ceiling” unveiled there for our entertainment and pure delight. I’m so very thankful we took time out to slow down and just look up.
Creating a fun activity can be simple and inexpensive. My son, Sam, and I enjoy making an adventure in the living room. Using a sheet, clothespins and rubber bands to create an indoor tent, we go camping. We turn off the house lights and tell ghost stories by flashlight, make hot dogs and eat SMORES!
Creating memories may seem like too much to think about when you are wondering how you will get all the laundry done, meals on the table and pay the bills. One such memorable event may require weeks of planning and even budgeting, but it is worth it.
Our children long for us to enjoy activities with them. Often in our busyness we think we are being responsible; when in fact, if we would allow ourselves even a little time to play, our relationships would improve.