There is no more important value than a connection with our kids.
It’s the foundation of all nurturing relationships. Connection enables the safety for kids to thrive in many areas of life.
There are so many opportunities to nurture a warm connection with our kids. One of the recent things I have been doing for our kids is setting them a challenge each, and a group challenge to do together.
It is really important especially in a large family like ours with 5 children to create one-on-one connection with the each of them.
So here is what I have been doing…
Because half of the kids are with us each fortnight, the challenge happens every two weeks. Each challenge takes my kids to a personal edge. So they get to learn and get a sense of accomplishment to share with me.
Some examples of challenges have included:
- Cooking a meal for the family (9yo)
- Making the family a dessert (6yo)
- Driving a manual car down a windy bush track (12yo)
- Car parking challenge between siblings to see who could park the family car closest to a line on the ground (they had never driven a car ever before) (12yo & 15yo)
- Designing a short animation skit in 3 hours from start to finish (12yo)
- Getting back on a longboard skateboard after developing fears from a bad accident a year before (15yo)
- Build a slackline stand for the backyard (12yo)
- Develop a comedy skit acted out about our family
- Create a psychedelic black light experience in the house for the adults
The kids all love the challenges and I get to feel more connected with them. They all laugh too that it is dad’s challenge every fortnight to come up with a list of challenges !!
You know the best part of this simple action? So many needs can be met at once.
Let’s take the group challenge I set for the kids to come up with a comedy skit about our family. The needs for the children met here were connection, creativity, fun, competence, self-expression, inclusion, challenge, closeness, belonging, spontaneity, and the list goes on. Pretty amazing when you take it apart.
It didn’t end there though. Because I gave them 3 hrs in the afternoon to come up with something, this enabled me to spontaneously take Avalon out on a little adventure, and she loves these things I come up with. Is adventure a 6th love language? Without details, this action then also enabled many other adult needs to be met. Needs like intimacy, freedom, mischief (yes I’m sure this is a deep human need), nurturing, sexual expression, beauty, play, warmth (hearts and sunlight), play and more.
Pretty amazing huh? … but wait there’s more. We all came back together for dinner and then enabled a shared experience of the performance together as a family, meeting more needs for closeness, belonging, play and laughter. Another thing that happened here to was that the children had an opportunity to laugh about things in the family in the ways we behave, enabling relief of stress, taking ourselves less seriously and a huge dose of love and empathy to end the day with. The kids spoke about it with laughter for days afterwards so it had created family memories.
I hope this inspires you to create regular fun and connection in your family