Five Simple Parent | Child Interactions That Can Yield Extraordinary Memories
As parents, our days are filled with work tasks, deadlines, financial worries, time constraints, and trying to get the kids to do their homework. In our busyness, sometimes we forget that our littles need our attention for more than five minutes that doesn’t involve telling them to wash their hands, put their toys away, or get ready for bed. What if I told you that there are five simple parent | child interactions that could not only affect your child in a positive way but could potentially turn those interactions into extraordinary memories? Based on over a decade of experience as a mental health therapist (plus being a parent and grandparent), I can assure you that if you incorporate one or more of my five suggested actions, you’ll be surprised at the results you see in your child.
Five Simple Parent | Child Interactions That Can Positively Affect Your Child and Potentially Yield Extraordinary Memories
- Read To Your Child
Have your kiddo pick out his or her favorite book and spend 15 minutes reading aloud. Not only are you promoting literacy but you are showing your child that he/she is worth your time. According to the The American Academy of Pediatrics,
…parents who spend time reading to their children create nurturing relationships, which is important for a child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development.
2. Play With Your Child
Whether it’s a board game, dolls, cars, or tag, parent | child pretend and physical play is linked with a child’s competence, gross motor skills, peer group leadership, and cognitive development. Furthermore, interactive play can also help a child learn how to regulate their emotions better. This skill is beneficial for minimizing disruptive behaviors and the interactive play can also create an extraordinary memory for your child.
3. Increase Positive Reinforcement
How many times have you caught yourself nagging at your child to do this, do that, and not do x, y, or z? It’s exhausting, right?! One of the best ways to increase positive behaviors is by liberally using positive reinforcement. An example would be giving your child a compliment when you catch him placing his dirty clothes in the hamper. Another example is saying “Thank you for being so helpful” when you spot your kid putting his dirty dishes in the sink. In other words, look for the good. Kids love praise and reinforcement and they definitely notice when you notice!
4. Visit A Special Place | Go Somewhere
Whether it’s the park, zoo, or beach, visiting a special place with your child is a great way to increase the parent | child bond and create memories. One of my fondest memories as a child was the time my dad took me to see Star Wars at the movie theater. Since it was just him and I and it was something that we normally didn’t do, I felt special. Actually just thinking about it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I remember feeling the same way as a child. As a result, I now have this extraordinary memory of being at the movies with my dad, eating junk food, and watching Star Wars! The force is strong with this one. 😉
5. Share A Meal | Special Treat
When my daughter was going through those rough pre-teen years, I found that I could get her to open up to me over gourmet pizza. For six months straight, I ordered her favorite pizza every weekend and we did nothing but eat and talk. And you know what? She remembers those conversations to this day! I don’t know if it was all that talking or the pizza but she eventually transitioned out of her “I hate everything” phase. Currently, she’s a well-adjusted college student and a great mom! Speaking of which, I’ve been taking care of my granddaughter since January so my daughter can get through a grueling semester of chemistry and biomedical sciences. We all know that it’s tough work taking care of a toddler so at the end of the day, I like to occasionally reward myself with a special treat. Say hello to my two best friends:
Häagen-Dazs® Ice Cream in Caramel Cone and Strawberry.
Since 1960, Häagen-Dazs®’s passion has been to transform the finest ingredients into extraordinary ice cream. Thick caramel ribbons and crunchy chocolate-covered cone pieces fold into their caramel ice cream, creating the perfect balance of cream and crunch. With only five ingredients, this ice cream is one incredible indulgence.
With my favorite granddaughter in tow, I was able to find my ice cream favorites at my local Martin’s grocery store. I even spied the new Häagen-Dazs® TRIO. Yummo!
For a limited time, Martin’s, Giant, and Stop & Shop shoppers can load a $1 OFF Häagen-Dazs coupon right onto their frequent shopper card. I think you + your child + creamy ice cream = extraordinary. Don’t you agree?