All children need Mom’s and Dad’s warmth and affection, though some kids do not instinctively give and receive it freely. Consistently spending time with your child will help develop their affections, whether cuddling on the couch or running through the woods, as well as help you better understand what your child is lacking. Extend patience to your little one, as some kids simply need more time to learn to be affectionate.
1. Sharing Meals Together
Studies show that when children regularly share meals with their families, they feel more connected and fair better in daily life. Taking the time to sit with your child and talk about your days, instead of doing the dishes while he eats, shows him that you are genuinely interested in him. The simple activity of breaking bread together builds his affection with his family.
2. Reading Together
It’s tough to beat snuggling together to read a funny or interesting story. Allow your child to select a favorite book, and engage her while reading by asking questions and pointing at pictures. If she is comfortable with it, stroke her hair or her hand while you sit together, for a warm, caring interaction. Make a trip to the library to find books that show people being affectionate, and act out the pictures with your child.
3. Outdoor Activities
Spending time playing together builds greater affection with kids and creates a natural opportunity to talk and laugh together. Head outside to engage your child by flying a kite together, going on a scavenger hunt or riding bikes in the park. Choose activities with lots of interaction. He will love watching you get silly and play wholeheartedly with him, and feel more connected to you as a result.
4. Indoor Activities
When playing outdoors is not an option, find creative ways to connect together indoors. You can pile up pillows, blankets and cushions, turning the living room into a fortress. Other ideas include making necklaces, playing board games or building a giant tower out of playing cards. Celebrate your accomplishment with lots of hugs, high-fives or even a friendly wrestling match.
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