Strengthening your relationship with your kids can at times be quite challenging. Camille spends this episode discussing ways to strengthen the bonds between you and your children! Listen to this episode as she discusses things such as making bedtime plans, spending quality time, and giving them one-on-one time. As a mother and business owner, she shares how she has found time to do things for her kids and build that special relationship with them.
“If we can create a safe place to fall in, to feel those emotions, it makes for an environment where our kids will give us the opportunity to see what is truly in their hearts.”
- Strengthening your relationship with your kids with 7 tips
- How to find the time to spend with your kids, even when life gets busy.
- Effectively communicating with kids of all ages.
- Time for Us Journals, developed by Camille to create bonding moments.
- Creating the right environment for kids to feel comfortable and connected.
Resources and links mentioned during this episode:
Call Me CEO 7 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Kids
Camille Walker 00:00
I get it. You have everything pulling at you right now. And the one that pulls at you the most is your child wanting to spend time with you, but not wanting to play another round of among us or Pokemon? Well, that's why I created the time for us journals. They are a prompt journal meant for kids ages two to 12. For you to spend time with your child on something that really matters. You talk about the day ways that they've been creative, a unique prompt, and even a special way to be creative together. And guess what, it only takes focused five to 10 minutes a day for your child to really feel like you see them and that they matter. And it frees you up to do the things that you need to get done, as well. Use the code co at time for us journals.com as a special thanks for me to you. Thank you for listening. So you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it, that handle motherhood family and still chase after those dreams? Listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know this is Call Me CEO. Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. I am your host, Camille Walker. And today we're talking about seven simple ways to create connection with your kids. This episode is going to be a little bit different because I am the only one that's going to be on this show. And I hope to sprinkle in motherhood podcast episodes like this, that help us really talk about the things that matter most to us, which is our kids and our family. So this is a question I get asked a lot. I've been working at home with my kids now for Gosh, it's been over 10 years. And I get asked a lot about how I managed to create connection with them when there are so many things on the to do list, and things pulling you every which way. And so I wanted to create a special episode just about this. And if you have any other questions, please feel free to DM me at Call Me CEO podcast on Instagram, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, so let's dive in. Number one, our car ride chats. I don't know about you. But as a mother of four, I find myself in the car a lot with my kids. And there are times that I need to turn the radio on or I need to turn a podcast on or something to keep the kids engaged. But what I found is if I allow myself to keep the car quiet, and ask my kids questions, they cannot escape. And it becomes this wonderful place a solitude area they can escape from especially have older kids that maybe don't want to talk as much if they're getting into the teen years. But in the car, it kind of becomes a magical place where you can ask and answer questions. With your children that really mean something now, in the car, things can get a little bit crazy. And so if you're wanting to really have questions that matter and connecting with your kids, it probably is best to do this when you're one on one with a child. So I can ask questions that would pertain to my 12 year old son, like how are things going with all of his new teachers where if it was with my younger son, I could ask him about his new soccer team or how my daughter's feeling about being in a new group of friends or maybe having lost a friend. In these car guide chats, you really have the opportunity to dig in deep in a moment where you don't have to create special time to have this one on one interaction. You just need to work it in. So next time you're in the car, I want to challenge you turn off the radio, turn away distractions, have them get off their tablets, or phones or whatever it might be, and ask some questions. Alright, number two. Number two is a favorite of mine because it is to remember to play. Now, this can look different for everyone depending on the ages of your kids. But for my daughter, who is now 10 to show up and play with her means she wants me to play Barbies. And I used to like playing Barbies as a kid but, you know, as a parent, it doesn't always feel like the best use of my time until I realized that it was her most important work. I think a lot of times As parents, we forget that our children's form of work outside of school is how they play. And it's also how they want to connect with you. So instead of saying, Hey, Mom, I had a rough day. Will you come spend some time with me? That question may come across as well. You can play Barbies with me. Or will you come play fortnight with me if you're my 12 year old son, and I'm horrible at fortnight and I've only done it a few times, but the times that I have, it means the world to him. For my younger sons that are ages seven, and four, they really want me to wrestle with them. They're very physical, they love to laugh and giggle and play, and the times that I take to really connect and bond with them, they have appreciated it so much. Now, when you're actually playing with a child and creating laughter, and fun, you are releasing oxytocin and endorphins simultaneously at the same time, which creates a deeper bond for you and your child. This may seem like something that can be hard to do, but I promise you, if you just take a minute and listen to what they want to do, they will lead you they will guide you, it just takes a minute to actually stop and listen to what that play looks like for them. Number three is bedtime plans, setting intention, snuggling, and a chat. Now this section is can be and it has been really hard for me. But I try really hard to fight against it is that bedtime for kids can be that witching hour, right? You're at the end of your rope, you're feeling like it's been the longest day already, maybe some days seven o'clock already feels like 10 o'clock. So if you have kids popping out of bed and always wanting to get that last squeeze of time with you, it can be frustrating. So what I've tried to do to reverse that thinking is to create intention with our bedtime. So what does that sound like? For one example, I like to go in and create a bedtime Blitz with my kids. Now this can vary depending on how many kids you have or what your time looks like. But I will do a bedtime Blitz where I will spend five to 10 minutes with each kid, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, and I let them pick what we do during that time. So for some of them, they want to snuggle in chat for some they want to read a book. For others, they might want to play a quick game or talk about their day. My son jet that's a seven-year-old, one of his favorite things to do is to ask me how my day was and then want to know what's happening for the next day. A lot of times our kids don't necessarily have the same perception of time that we do. However, I have noticed that when I've taken the time to do a preview of what's happening the next day, they have a better understanding of what's expected of them in the morning. And then what maybe what things they can look forward to during the day. So whether that's a soccer game or a dance practice or a fun family movie night, we will break it down and say okay, tell me the best things about what happened today. And let's talk about what's happening tomorrow. That way, if you need to set up clothing early in the morning, or if you need to get a bag prepped for them being spotlighted at school or home a big homework project. Hopefully you've done that before the night before. But you know, we've all been there. This gives you a chance to really recap the day and talk about things that matter. Every night at dinner, my husband and I like to do a game with our family called high low and did you know so every night at dinner, we will take a turn for each one of us to go around the table and talk about a high of the day, a low of the day. And then something that is curious or interesting that they might want to tell us it could be something they learned at school, something that happened to them that day. But this really opens up conversation and the kids have really latched on to this as a time that we bond. I know that there have been times that I've shared this idea with kids on TikTok. I actually have. I'm on TikTok at My Mommy Style if you want to follow along there, but I shared that we do this at our dinner time. And it was shocking to me. How many dozens even gosh, it was probably 26 kids that said something like you actually have family dinner like that that was such a surprising revelation. And yes, we do. We're not perfect at it. But we really try to make dinnertime meaningful and to have those questions and answers where we talk about our day. So whether that's at bedtime, or whether it's at dinner time, really take the time to talk about your day what's coming up the next day. I've noticed that when I allow my 12 year old, almost 13 year old to talk about his day after school very often he will say Oh, nothing happened or it was fine or it was good. It's just very short answers. But if I allow him to talk at night, he will talk and talk and talk. And I don't know what it is about nighttime, but hearts and mouth open. And so if you can try to prep your time so that you really have those minutes to share with your child at nighttime, because there's something that happens at night. And it can be bewitching and horrible, but it can also be magical. And if you allow for that time to exist, I find that my kids really open up and find a really sweet connection with me. Alright, so number four is one on one dates. Now, this does not have to be something extravagant. In fact, there have been times when I have turned to one on one car ride into a one on one date. But my husband and I have found that if we take time to take turns with each child and create a small date, that they really feel special. Now we have four children. And that's quite a lot. For some that here we have four. But I really feel like taking time to do something, even if it's going to the hardware store and grabbing an ice cream on the way home or taking your child to get a haircut or new shoes or something, turn it into something special. That will take that ordinary situation into something a little bit more special and call it a date. I think actually calling it a date and anticipating the date can really mean a lot. Just two days ago, my husband took our 12 year old out to get his haircut. And afterward they went to Buffalo Wild Wings. And it was such a special time for them. Because I think we put a lot of responsibility and expectation on our oldest son. And a lot of times when we go on dates, now we use him as a babysitter, which has been fantastic, let me tell you, but he also sometimes feels lost in the fray with all the little kids that are more demanding. And so taking time for that one on one really makes a difference. Number five is to welcome emotion. Kids come with big emotions, it is no doubt that they feel things just as strongly if not more so than we ourselves do. And if we can create a safe place to fall into feel those emotions it makes for an environment where our kids will give us the opportunity to see what is truly in their hearts. How do we do this, by listening. Another way to connect with your child number six, is to turn off technology. Now, this is something I'm extremely passionate about. If you want to hear more about my story, you can go to my blog at my mommy style comm where I talk about writing this screen freeze program, which was designed out of necessity you when my four year old son started seeing some really scary things about him not loving his life. And in way not, he didn't say exactly he wanted to end his life. But he basically was saying he hated his life, which was super shocking for me, because there had been no traumatic event or abuse of any kind. And I was lost in knowing what it was that had happened to my son that made him feel so desperately sad. And through a lot of study and Revelation, I found that cutting screentime in our family was the right move to get our house and our home reset on our values and also taking time to really get dig deep into what was going on in his little heart. It turned out through that discovery that we found out that he had sleep apnea, which was a really interesting discovery. I didn't know children could even have such a thing. And we also discovered that he had some sensory things going on where he needed a little more attention and ways of using his body through running and jumping and playing to really help set the equilibrium in his brain. And so through all of this, I actually developed the screen freeze program to help parents to create a better balance for their homes and for their families so that they really have a better control on the screens. You know, in today's world, we definitely have so much time with screens. And it can be really hard to get through that clutter. Connection is the way that our children feel toward us. And so often we think that kids really want to be strongly connected to us and they want to obey us but too often we let a lot of things get in the way They'll act like kids, which means their emotions will sometimes overwhelmed. They're still growing pre portal context. But when they trust and understand that we are on their side, they're more motivated to follow in lead when they can reach researchers remind us that we have five, we need to have five positive interactions for every negative interaction to keep any relationship healthy. Now, this is something that I know I have really had to positively work on, it's so easy to tell the kids what to do, or what they might not be doing right? That really taking time to praise them or to create bonding time with them takes effort. And it was because of this that I decided to create the time for us journals. Now the time for us journals are parent and child prompt journals. It's a daily interactive journal for kids ages two to 12. And these journals are really meant for you to be able to sit down with your child for five to 10 minutes, and answer questions about their day, how they're feeling, how they've been using their imagination, and then also a place for you to be creative together. And there's a daily prompt that changes each day so that you can really take time to focus in on them. I think too often, in my experience it, I find that I don't necessarily know what questions to ask. And the journal has really taken the guesswork out of it. If you're interested in purchasing a time for us journal, you can find them at time for us journals.com. And you can use the code CEO for 20% off. Number seven, is we want to welcome emotions. And listen, really listen. When a parent uses active listening, children generally feel more supported and less controlled. It's hard for parents to resist giving endless advice and lectures as they feel the huge responsibility of teaching their child. Now what is reflective listening? active listening is the same term. But reflective listening is actually when you repeat what it is your child is saying back to them. So an example of that might be like, would be something like this? Hey, Mom, I am just bummed out, I had a really bad day. And if I was doing reflective listening, I would say, sounds like you've had a hard day. Can you tell me more about that? Yeah, Johnny was going to pick me for the team. But then the bell rang, and I never got to play. Oh, man, that sounds like a really hard time you wanted to play and Johnny didn't make time for you something like that. Other examples are, it seems as if what I hear you saying, or I get a sense that now when we do reflective listening, we aren't coming up with the solution. We aren't coming up with a device, we're simply repeating back to our child what they just revealed to us. And if we fuel that conversation with things that we're hearing, our children are more likely to open up and tell us more. reflective parenting is a theory that was developed by a psycho analyst Peter Fonda, phonics, and phonics, he introduced the concept of reflective functioning, which is defined as the ability to imagine mental states in self and others. Through this capacity for reflection, we develop the ability to understand our own behavioral responses, and the responses of others as a meaningful attempt to communicate those inner most mental states. Now, what's really interesting about this research is that it's demonstrated that when a parent has this capacity, one is strengthens the parent child relationship. And two, it teaches the child how to understand and regulate their behavior. It also supports their cognitive development. So when we allow our child to talk about the things that mattered to them, and share what's happening in their day and reflect that back to them, they then will be able to develop that understanding and that communication skill for themselves when they're listening to other people. I know that one of the major stressors of my parenting moving forward has been worrying about my children, being able to communicate and develop relationships, face to face without the screen and really knowing how to communicate love and understanding and relationships that matter in friendships, and in romantic relationships. I know that that's something that as I've talked to parents, with teenagers and even young adults, that many many children have lost the ability to know how to speak face to face, they're much more comfortable texting, or Snapchatting, or sending funny memes to each other than they are sitting down and having a conversation. So where this may seem trivial to some, I think that this is one of the most important techniques that we as a parent can teach our child is how to communicate and how to listen. And we know as parents that they listen, and they learn more from what we do than what we say. So my challenge for us this week is to fill your child's cup. What does it mean to fill the cup in our family, it means that we take time for physical touch. Now, stay here with me for a minute. When we got back from the quarantine, I get well, more, I should say, when the quarantine started, my 12 year old was no longer at junior high, he was home with me all the time. And I am a very physically loving person. And I was trying to give him hugs, and it was so awkward. It was he pushed me away. She didn't want to be near me. And that's normal, especially for you know, preteen boys that they don't want their mom to be loving on them. But I promise you, I promise you, any child needs it, they need that eight to 12 second hug. And it's even suggested that we hug our child or have physical contact with them 12 times a day. So when this quarantine started, I realized it was getting kind of awkward for me to be hugging on my oldest son than it used to be than my little four year old who will jump into my lap any chance he gets. But as the quarantine went on, and I was taking a conscious effort to hug my oldest son more, I found that it became more comfortable and that he actually came and wanted to hug me too. And I think that's been one of the greatest gifts and aha moments with spending time together more as a family at home is that I was taking time to really love on my son and to hug him. And I found that as we created more physical touch like that he was willing and more able to open up about things that were happening at school and concerns that were happening, and even his crushes. And I think if you can get your 1213 year old to trust you with who they like, then you're winning, because that takes a lot of effort. For my younger son, the one that I talked about earlier, who really is more has a need for more sensory touch. He and I almost on the daily talk about how his cup is feeling. What does that mean? So if I feel that he's looking a little blue, or he's seems to be feeling down, I will go over and wrestle him and tickle him and hug him. And I'll tell them how much I love him and how great I think he is. And then I'll ask him how his cup is. And in our house, there's actually a book about it. I didn't realize this until later. And I'll I'll reference that in the show notes below. But there's a book that talks about filling up your cup, or maybe filling up your bucket, I think and it talks about love touches and the way that we can show love and care for each other in our day to day as friends and family. And so in the book, it's the idea that, you know, we can share love and understanding with each other and build upon that with each other. So I will straight out ask him how is your cup? How's it feeling? And if he's, he'll say, Oh, it's it's okay. Or, oh, it's about halfway. And then I'll take him some more in love on him some more. And I'll say how's your cup, and they'll say it's overflowing. And I love that I love that we can talk like that and that I want that communication to start young. So that hopefully as he gets older, that communication will stay open. Interacting with your child is about showing up. Just be right there. Be there and let everything else go. You won't be able to pull this off all the time. But if you make it a habit several times day you will find yourself shifting into presence more and more often. We cannot get back the time that we have with our kids right now. And I know that so many things are pulling you in so many places. But I hope that as you take from the things I've shared with you today that you can have some tactics and tools to make connecting with your child that much easier. If you would like some more resources on this topic, please check into my mommy style.com and time for us journalists.com thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you next time. If you enjoy today's show, I would love for you to subscribe and come hang out with me over on Instagram at Callmeceopodcasts. I love it when you come over there, continue the conversation. Tell me what you love most about this episode. Thank you and I will see you next time.
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