Alisa Van Langeveld came by our studio today to give us tips on how to improve the quality of time spent with your children. Langeveld is a child development and parent expert, who’s also an adjunct professor in Family Studies at the University of Utah. She’s a mom of 4 so she has many tips and tricks up her sleeve.
She emphasized that after-school reunions can be powerful moments to reconnect with your kids so it’s important to dive deeper than just “how was your day.” Parents have to remember going back to school can be stressful for kids and after school overwhelm is real. This means parents might be seeing more outbursts and meltdowns which researchers refer to as “restraint collapse.”
She recommends these tips on how to reconnect with your kids after school:
TIP 1: Focus on the nonverbal
-Eye contact, smile, physical touch, proximity, wait, calm
TIP 2: You Start
– Model the conversation you want to have
-Start: “I’m so glad to see you. Middle: Some good, some bad. End: I want to hear about your day…tell me
TIP 3: Anchor points (recess, lunch, math, second period, bus)
-Focus attention on a smaller point during the day.
-Variety of questions (direct and indirect, open and closed)
-“Tell me” about a story
TIP 4: End with gratitude, connection
-“Thank you for sharing that with me. I’m so glad you’re home.”
If it’s all negative, her advice to you is to express understanding and offer encouragement. You could even try to help problem-solve or bring it up later. If that doesn’t work, she explains that sometimes kids just need space and to try again tomorrow. She wraps up by reminding us that the best thing we can do is be a safe, warm, accepting place for them to come home to.
Be sure to follow her on Instagram @10minutestogether for more advice and tips!