Bonding is the sense of attachment that you and your baby feel for each other. Bonding grows when you look into your baby’s eyes, smile at them and talk to them. Bonding is ongoing – it begins at birth, increases gradually, and takes time.
Such things as cradling a baby while feeding them, cuddling with a toddler before bedtime, and hugging a teenager, increase the bond between you and your child. Lots of loving touch and eye contact should take place every day throughout the childhood years.
Children know that their parents love and care for them when parents are tuned into their feelings, understand how they feel and comfort or reassure them. Parents who understand their children answer quickly, in a way that is in tune with what the child needs.
Bonding is important to your children because it helps them feel secure. Children who feel safe have a head start on life. They cope well with life’s ups and downs and are able to understand how others feel. These kids naturally form other healthy, close relationships as they go out into the world.
Here are 2 examples of ways to bond with your child:
- Hug-A-Game – Play a game with your child like flash cards, bingo, checkers, etc. The reward for a correct answer or move could be a hug from the other players.
- Walk down Memory Lane – Remember your favourite childhood songs, nursery rhymes and stories. Share them with your child. Look into your child’s eyes and maintain eye contact throughout. The sharing of your treasured memories contributes to cross-heritage bonding. Remembering the things that are important to you as a child, brings back good, warm feelings; feelings that can then be passed to your child.