1) We cook together.
I make 3 meals a day and snacks. For at least 1 of those meals, I recruit a little helper. I notice giving her jobs that have to do with the family meals gives her pride. She loves feeling a part of the process and being a helper. She eats better when she has helped make the food as well.
2) I tell her I love her.
Not a day goes by without me saying, “I love you!” I never want her to have any doubt in her mind how I feel for her, so every chance I get, I let her know. I tell her, “I’m really proud of the way you did your school work today or put away your socks.” I notice this kind of praise leads her to doing more positive things the next day. (Works most of the time.)
3) Children love hugs and to be rubbed.
Give lots of hugs, rub their back. Kids never get too old for a positive physical touch from their parents. Always hug your children before you or they leave, when they come home and before bed.
4) We don’t watch much TV. We read together.
Since the day I found out I was pregnant I have been reading to my daughter.
We read for fun just as much as we read for school and she loves it. Instead of making it a chore, we go on shopping sprees to the bookstore where she goes in and picks out her own books.
5) We use technology as a teaching tool. We limit YouTube.
Electronics can be a huge distraction not only for my daughter but also for myself. For 1 week stay conscious of your screen time. You will be surprised when you realize how much time you could have been spending with your kids.
6) Listen to your children when they talk.
I have a daughter that runs her mouth all day long, even when we are trying to homeschool. I know firsthand it’s hard to actually listen to everything that comes out of your child’s mouth, but I try really hard to pay attention because children are so pure that they speak from the heart. So, you get to learn their desires, fears and about their mental health daily if you just take the time to listen.
7) Make bedtime special.
I do my best to keep our routine. It allows for extra time to chat, catch up on feelings, read a book and pray. This is the time my daughter will open up and say either today was a good day or sometimes, “Mommy, I am sorry for being bad. Tomorrow will be a better day.” I don’t have to prompt it. Bedtime is her reflection time of the day. Since I homeschool, it’s often the time when I ask her what subject she would like to start with in the morning. I have noticed when I let her pick the subject, there is less resistance.