0

Homework Assignment: Turn Towards Your Child

Ask parents what their favorite part of summer is and you’re likely to hear “having fun with the kids!”

Share this post:

Ask parents what their favorite part of summer is and you’re likely to hear “having fun with the kids!” Building that connection can be a blast with the sun out and freedom in the air. Today, we’d like to offer you support in this pursuit, the most worthwhile of goals.

Below, we present a list of activities that can help you take advantage of the free time you have together by identifying opportunities to turn towards. This list is brought to you from the pages of The Relationship Cure. It has two parts: things you can do for your child and things you can do with your child.

Read over these suggestions and consider those you arrived at on your own in the past week! Are there some you’d like to try in the weeks ahead? Are there some you’d like to make a part of your daily interactions together?

Jot ’em down, try ’em out, and then look back over your notes to see how you did! 

Consider how new efforts to turn toward your child affected your feelings of emotional connection with him or her.

Activities: Things to do for Your Child

  • Pay attention to what’s going on in your child’s day-care center or school. Talk to teachers. Read newsletters. Show interest.
  • Attend your child’s sports activities, performances.
  • Sit down with him or her at mealtimes, including breakfast. Turn off the TV and talk.
  • Pack your child’s lunch. Include healthy treats and a funny note.
  • Take photos of your child.
  • Show affection by touching your child gently and often – cuddle and stroke smaller children. Offer your hand to bigger kids as long as they’ll take it. Make hugs a habit. 
  • Offer choices whenever possible. Within reason, let your child decide what to wear, what to eat, what activities to pursue.
  • Pay attention to your child’s likes and dislikes. If she likes crunchy peanut butter better than creamy, buy crunchy.
  • Take interest in your child’s friends. Ask questions about them. Be kind to them.
  • Show interest in your child’s creative projects. 
  • Express gratitude.
  • Ask your child what she wants to be when she grows up. Listen.
  • Ask your child about his fears. Listen.
  • Apologize when you’re wrong. This teaches kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and admit to them.
  • Monitor activities. Always know where your child is.
  • Keep asking questions about your child’s experiences and thoughts.

Activities: Things to do With Your Child 

  • Play games.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Take a nap.
  • Make up stories.
  • Cook a meal or bake a treat.
  • Have a “grug” – a group hug.
  • Share “butterfly kisses” (with your eyelashes) or rub noses.
  • Tickle, wrestle, or horseplay (but be careful with small children).
  • Look at your child’s baby pictures. Tell your child happy or funny stories about her birth and infancy. Let your child know how glad you are that he was born.
  • Read the newspaper, watch TV, or laugh at the funnies together. Talk about them.
  • Read books aloud – even after your child is old enough to read by themselves.
  • Go to their favorite restaurant.
  • Go to a children’s play or a movie. Talk about it.
  • Play catch, shoot baskets, kick a soccer ball around. Practice conditioning.
  • Plan and take a vacation. Make a scrapbook of memories when you get home.
  • Plant a garden and designate one part as theirs.
  • Sing. Play music. Dance.
  • Do craft projects.
  • Play make-believe.
  • Camp out in the backyard, or, on a rainy day, build a pillow fort.
  • Provide homework help when appropriate.
  • Make packages of letters, drawings, and audio/videotapes for out of town friends and relatives.
  • Research the family tree.
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Go to the park or a playground. Crawl around on the equipment together.
  • Plan birthday celebrations. Make plans for the holidays.
  • Go to “story hour” at the local library or bookstore.
  • Share an activity like swimming, skiing, hiking, camping, or bowling. 
  • Go to an art fair. Make up stories about the pictures.
  • Make a growth chart and check it often.
  • Do community volunteer work together.

Share this post:

The Gottman Institute’s Editorial Team is composed of staff members who contribute to the Institute’s overall message. It is our mission to reach out to individuals, couples, and families in order to help create and maintain greater love and health in relationships.

Recommended products

Original price was: $250.00.Current price is: $189.00.

The World’s First Proven Solution to Assess and Improve Relationships

The Gottman Relationship Adviser is a complete approach to relationship wellness. Measure your relationship health with the research-based Gottman Assessment, analyze five key areas of your partnership to identify your strengths and weaknesses, then start a tailored, step-by-step digital program proven to heal and strengthen your connection—all on your schedule and from anywhere.

The Adviser uses the legendary scientific Gottman Method to help you understand what’s really going on in your relationship—and gives you exactly what you need to improve it.

Original price was: $119.00.Current price is: $79.00.

Research-based Foundations for a Lifetime of Love.  The Gottman Relationship Coach is an inspiring and educational multimedia experience designed to enhance the well-being of relationships. Participants will be guided through research-based tools and communication skills that can transform relationships—all based on the popular Gottman Method. The first program, “How to Make Your Relationship Work”, is now available and includes:

  • The Gottman Method and How to Make Your Relationship Work
  • How do we predict the future of a relationship?
  • How to build a Sound Relationship House
  • What to do when the destructive Four Horsemen enter your relationship

“Buy Now” will take you to GOTTMAN CONNECT to purchase and view this product.

Original price was: $599.00.Current price is: $480.00.

Created by “the Einstein of Love” (Psychology Today), this two-day workshop is grounded on what actually works in relationships that are happy and stable. See for yourself why millions of couples worldwide have benefited from the Gottman Method.

Quote from participant in most recent Live Virtual Workshop:

The Art and Science of Love workshop- where do I begin? It was an absolute stellar workshop. We were looking forward to this for weeks, and it exceeded our expectations! It was well-structured, and well-organized, and provided a wealth of information with real-time demonstrations of how to work through specific scenarios. The outstanding support that was provided throughout the exercises with therapists on standby- WOW! Priceless!

Includes the Art & Science of Love box set.  Please allow time for shipping.  Please Note: This is a live online event. To attend, you will need a reliable internet connection. Our staff will reach out to you with your personal registration and access information.

$30.00

Improve your relationship in 30 days! Backed by over 50 years of research, the 30 Days to a Better Relationship challenge will help you reconnect with your partner and bring more positivity into your relationship. The tools and exercises, delivered once a day for 30 days by email, build on one another and take five minutes or less to complete.

 

Related posts

Emotional Intelligence Creates Loving and Supportive Parenting

John Gottman

Parents have to be smarter about teaching their children emotional intelligence, and John Gottman can show you how. ...

Read More

Daughter and Father

Do You See Your Child in a Positive Perspective?

Jenny Wang

See your children as rainbows versus roadblocks ...

Read More

‘Small Things Often’ Parenting

Kimberly Panganiban

How the little things make a big difference raising kids ...

Read More

The Four Parenting Styles

The Gottman Institute

Your emotional awareness dramatically influences your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships. ...

Read More

building trust with teens

Building Trust with Teenagers

Lawrence Jackson

Connect with the young person in your life by being their safe space ...

Read More

Bid Busters: Ways You Unintentionally Turn Away from Connection

Satira Streeter

The people you love are making bids for your attention. Can you hear them? ...

Read More

Subscribe to Gottman Love Notes

Sign up and start your relationship transformation. Subscribe and get the latest on relationships, therapy, and much more from the experts. Includes a free download and access to special pricing on Gottman products every month