The most important relationship in a child’s life is the one that is established at birth with their parents. In Yoga philosophy it is said that the Mother is the child’s first Guru. A Guru is a spiritual guide that takes the student from darkness to light, from ignorance to understanding, from misconception to illumination. Guru literally translates as “gu” darkness and “ru” light. While it may feel a bit daunting to think of yourself as your child’s Guru don’t fret! You already possess the strength within to guide, care for, and nurture your child as they explore and discover the world. While parents are tasked with the responsibility to ensure their child's wellbeing on all levels - physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational, the most important aspect of your role as a parent is that of being present.
There are many simple and practical ways to build or strengthen the bond you have with your child. While bonding may look a little different as your child ages, the foundation you set will carry you through all of the ups and downs of parenting at every stage. Children look to their parents to determine whether or not they are safe, secure, and loved. Being in the moment, spending quality time together, and creating an environment where they feel comfortable to explore will help to build and sustain your relationship and allow your child to blossom into their true selves.
Bonding with your baby
Connecting with your little one is easily the most pleasurable aspect of infant care. You may be exhausted and your house may be a mess, but holding your baby and gazing at their sweet face is the most important thing you can do at this stage.
Here are a few ways you can bond with your infant:
Bonding with your toddler
As your baby begins walking and talking you’ve entered the toddler stage! This can be a fun yet challenging phase to move through. You can continue to build on the bonding techniques you used during infancy as well as adding in some new ones.
Try adding the following into your days:
Bonding with your school-aged child
Once your child begins school you will be spending less time with them so it is important to make space for connection when you are together. Children are often tired after a long day at school of following the rules and being on their best behaviour, and will tend to let it all out when they get home. While this can be very frustrating it is a good thing! It means they feel safe to express themselves with you and trust that you will help them navigate all of their big feelings. Having a little quiet time cuddle with a story is a good way to make the transition into the evening routine. Keep utilizing all of the techniques mentioned so far to continue building on the bond you have created with your child. Above all, having your undivided attention is everything. Build in some quality uninterrupted time into your routine doing activities your child loves to build long-lasting memories.
The teenage years
I remember when I was pregnant with my first child and thinking that I could handle every stage but felt fearful of the dreaded teenage years. Now that I am in the thick of it I am loving this phase! Having put in the effort to build and maintain a loving connection with my daughter has rewarded us both with a fun and easy relationship. We enjoy spending time together and she feels comfortable talking to me about what she is experiencing as she learns to navigate all of the shifts that occur in this stage of life.
To help your child through this phase do your best to keep calm, listen with an open mind, spend quality time with them engaging in activities they love, and support them with whatever they need. It won’t be long before they are off on their own and you will miss having them around every day!
There is a saying that goes “the days are long but the years are short” which so aptly describes life with children. There is so much to soak up and enjoy in each phase of your child’s life. No matter what stage you’re in it is never too late to build a strong, loving connection with your child. Remember: all your child really needs is your attentive, loving presence. Everything else will fall into place.
Hi! I'm a Mama of 3, an Ayurveda Spa Specialist, Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher, Postpartum Facilitator, and Postpartum Doula. I am passionate about caring for birthers during the Sacred Window of postpartum, and educating others on how to care for the new families in their lives.