Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

Life is busy, and finding time to bond with your kids – especially as they get older – can be difficult. But motherhood doesn’t stop just because the kids have outgrown bottles and diapers and cuddles, and finding time and ways to bond with your children is important, especially as they get older. Here are 5 ways you can make time to renew your bond with your child:

Take a Road Trip

Our family travels a lot, but every once in a while, find time to get away just with one child. Last year, Dave and Parker went on an overnight adventure to see a concert. They came home with memories only the two of them shared. It brought them closer and made them both look forward to doing it again. This year, Anika and I took a road trip to visit a college she may be attending. We stayed in a hotel, ate food the boys wouldn’t have liked for dinner, and stayed an extra hour watching the play rehearsal at the campus theatre because no one was expecting us home. It was wonderful.

Talk to Your Kids Every Day

One of the easiest ways you can bond with your kids is to talk to them every day. I mean the real kind of talking, where you put down your phone and actually listen to them for a few minutes. Every night, I have a ritual with my kids that started almost before they could talk. Now they are 15 and 17 and we still do it: Every night, we sit together and spend a few minutes talking about their favorite part of their day. I share mine too. We tell each other about our days, tell each other we love each other, and say goodnight. We never miss a night, even when we’re traveling. Even when we’re apart, we share our favorite parts of the day over the phone.

Share Your Hobbies with Your Kids

Most of the time, when I go to my studio to paint, it’s me time. I want to escape everything and concentrate. But every now and then, I love to bond with my kids by letting them share in my hobby. They both love to use the oil paints and experiment on real canvases, and their freedom and willingness to experiment often inspires me.

Share Music and Theatre with Your Kids

Concerts are a big part of our lives. My first date with Dave was to an REO Speedwagon concert. So as the kids have shown an interest, we have taken them to concerts and plays and introduced them to the arts. From Green Day to U2, from Les Mis to Rent, we’ve built extraordinary memories bonding with special events like these.

Sit at the Table and Eat Dinner as a Family

So many families have decided that there’s simply no way to eat dinner together because schedules are too busy. I say, move the damn dinner and eat with your family. I don’t care if you eat at 4pm or 8pm, work around the busy-ness (or slow it down) and eat together. There is nothing more important than sitting around a table with your kids, sharing a meal and conversation.

No matter how you choose to make it happen, try to find ways to bond with your kids, especially as they get older.