Monthly News and Updates from IdahoSTARS


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1. Offer a heart-felt hug and be the last to let go

Some say we need at least eight hugs per day. Lots of good comes from a hug, and it does not even take five minutes!

2. Gather the child close and read a short story

Of course, this is much easier to do with little kids who still fit on your lap, so if the child is older, sit beside them and read a chapter book out loud. By making this a daily ritual, you will spark a love for reading and spend some quality time together every single day.

3. Visit their world

Get involved in something that the child is interested in. Ask questions. When we show kids that we care about the things they care about, they feel connected.

4. Tell each other jokes

Laughter equals connection.

5. Play a quick game

Keep a small notepad around for quick games like Tic Tac Toe or Hangman. Make use of the time you are waiting in line by playing one of these games together and the child (and you!) just might feel a little less exasperated by your wait. No notebook? Try a game like “I Spy” or “Twenty Questions”.

6. Give full, undivided attention to the child

Start with saying, “These next five minutes are all yours.” Ask them about their day, how they are feeling, or what they’re interested in most right now. Make eye contact and listen attentively. We do that so little these days because everybody is checking their devices or multitasking and only giving partial attention. Five minutes of full attention will go a long way in strengthening your connection.

7. Meet their strong emotion with empathy

Sometimes this is inconvenient or even downright tough, and our first reaction is often to shut it down quickly. When we can sit with a child through their big feelings, they get the message “I matter” or “I’m understood” and that fosters a deeper connection to us.

7. Have an impromptu dance party

Inject a little fun and spontaneity into your day by turning on a good dance song and showing off your silliest moves.

8. Do a chore together and make it fun

It has to get done anyway, so you may as well use the time wisely!

9. Break out the photos

Looking back at old memories is an instant mood booster and a great way to spend quality time together.

10. Get outside

Spend those 5 minutes outside playing tag, blowing bubbles, looking for bugs, collecting leaves, playing hopscotch, Hula hooping, tossing a ball or just go on a short walk!