Reconnecting with Your Child at a Distance by Anieke Lamers
Many of us focus our new resolution efforts on the turn of the new year. Vowing to drop certain bad habits and pick up newer, healthier ones. Spring however, provides the perfect opportunity for change – a transient time of life, rebirth and revival. As we move into longer, lighter days, it’s common to have more energy and clarity of mind. It’s the perfect time to start something fresh, pick up a new healthy habit or make changes to an existing one.
Remote Bonding with Young Children
Children need a solid foundation. Our task as grown-ups is to provide a safe space for children to develop. The world is getting more complex every day and we need to ensure that young children grow up to be resilient – adequately tackling the challenges of the world.
Researchers at Princeton argue that many parents need more support to provide proper parenting. They need social support from family, even from a distance.
Keeping in touch with the young children in your family can have a very positive impact on their wellbeing. How young children go on to feel about themselves has a lot to do with their interactions and relationships with the adults present in their lives. This circle of people might include grandparents, close friends, or even paid help. By reaching out and creating positive bonds, you are contributing to a personal awareness that may stay with the child for a long time.
Maybe it’s been a little while since you got in touch. It’s ok, we’ve all been there! Life is busy, dates pass by and all of a sudden you feel quite distant from your already distant little one. Try not to let this get you down. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Guilt in particular is a tricky business. As well as being entirely useless for everyone involved, it threatens our self-esteem. Hurting our self-esteem does not create a good environment to reach out to others from. Often, if we are not feeling good about ourselves, we don’t value our contribution to somebody else’s life.
So, let’s drop the guilt and start small. Choosing just one connection to begin with, or if there is just one connection, start with a small point of contact. A small message on a quiet afternoon for example. Approach this task lightly and give yourself plenty of room to feel comfortable.
Or maybe you’ve run out of inspiration and need some new ideas to connect. Below we’ve listed 5 of our favorite activities to help you connect today.
5 Activities to Help you Connect Today
The Magic Spoon Trick:
Suitable for kids 3 years and older.
Magic tricks are great for kids and the magic spoon trick is a classic. Performing this trick with your little one allows you to share something together. It even offers a teaching opportunity which can help build trust and appreciation.
All you need is a tablespoon and a video connection to your little one.
Grab a tablespoon and tell your young child that you can do a magic trick. Show the spoon, say a magic word, and hang the spoon on the tip of your nose. Challenge your young child to do the same and see how they get on.
Suitable for kids 3 years and older.
Practicing gratitude activates several parts of the brain that are associated with reward and motivation. Sharing a moment of gratitude with your little one can help them feel good and associate that feeling off love and kindness with you.
All you need is yourself and a video or audio connection to your child at a distance.
Think of 3-4 things you are grateful for today and express them to your little one. After, you can ask them what they are grateful for.
Suitable for kids between 2-4 years.
At two years of age, children experience complex emotions but have not mastered how to express them healthily. By pointing out what words they can use to express themselves, young children learn new vocabulary and build their self-confidence. This is a teaching opportunity which can help to bond and build trust with your little one. As children develop a vocabulary and more independence, they will experiment with expressing emotion in new ways.
Prepare your acting skills! All you need is yourself and video connection to your child.
Teach your little one about emotions. Cover your face with your hands and then uncover your face to show an emotion. Ask your little one what emotion you are showing. Repeat by covering your face and revealing a different emotion. Try showing happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.
Draw Your Family
Suitable for kids between 3-6 years.
Children develop creativity and enhance their fine motor skills through drawing. Drawing family members also supports their social, emotional connection and bonding.
Grab a pen (or crayons) and a piece of paper. Use these in a video connection to your child.
Make a drawing of your family and show it to your little one in a video. It’s not about creating art, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Be sure to point out the family members in the drawing. You can even ask your little one to make a family picture for you as well.
Suitable for kids between 2-3 years.
Imitating animal sounds helps young children develop cognitively. At 2 years old, a child might be able to name some animals, and kids this age love playing simple make-believe games.
Connecting with your little one in this playful way helps encourage happiness and long lasting memories.
All you need is yourself and a video connection to your child at a distance. Pretend to be an animal! Ask your little one to guess what animal you are by making the sound of the animal.You can ask them to do the same, following your demonstration.
Anieke is the Founder and CEO of Peekabond. Anieke is an ex-VC having worked on impact investments and consumer tech deals for the past 8 years of her career. Anieke founded Peekabond from a personal passion because she is an aunt of a 2 year old niece in Australia. She immediately began searching for alternative ways to bond remotely with her little niece. But she couldn’t find a real solution, so she made it her mission to create the best digital platform possible. To build beautiful bonds across generations, continents, and cultures. To connect with Anieke click here
Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.
Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations. To try Peekabond go here.