In the November 2012 issue of ParentsCanada, contributing editor Erin Dym spoke with Jennifer Kolari, author of Connected Parenting, about tween bonding. One of the tips to promote bonding Jennifer suggested was to spend time looking through baby pictures. This activity strengthens the parent-child connection, just as your teens are becoming more independent.
As a child I spent hours poring over my baby book, old photo albums and my parents’ wedding album, lovingly assembled no doubt by my mother. Unfortunately for my children, I’m not a great photo album maker or scrap booker extraordinaire. But what we do have front-and-centre at our place are a digital frame and a random photo screen saver on our computer, both of which happen to be on either side of our kitchen table. Lots of visual stimuli, just like a bar.
Many times will we be eating dinner together when an old photo from a vacation, a birthday party or just a day in our life pops up. The girls will coo, “Remember that day?” Or, “Look how little we were!” Or “Look how young you were mom!” (Isn’t that sweet?)
Well-played Jennifer Kolari. Looking at old photos really does work! Except that we have unwittingly used technology – often derided for keeping our teens distant from us – to draw them closer. Take that!
OK, here’s another tip I stumbled upon. What’s better than looking at old photos? Home movies. My kids LOVE to look at themselves when they were younger. And you know what? So do I. When I’m annoyed at a pile of textbooks on the floor or an unemptied dishwasher, nothing melts my heart more than seeing my golden-haired girls toddling along with their high-pitched voices. Man they’re cute! So it would seem this bonding activity works both ways. Give it a try!