After 10 years as a therapist working with families, marriages, and individuals, I am convinced that creating a healthy family begins with a life-giving relational atmosphere. I define a life-giving relational atmosphere as a grace-filled, loving, affirming family environment filled with traditions and routines that create a rhythm to a child's life. Here is a great strategy to implement into your family's daily routine that will strengthen your bond with your child, creating a healthy relational atmosphere.
The strategy is called floor time. I recommend starting this with your child as young as possible. Every day, for at least 30 minutes, enter into your child's world by getting down on the floor and playing. For example, our oldest son, Joseph, was obessessed with tractors. He knew every model of every tractor known to mankind - or at least it seemed that way! Each day, we would play with tractors, read books on tractors, and we took field trips to see tractors.
Your child may be interested in dinosaurs, dolls, certain books, trains, puzzles, or insects. It doesn't matter what it is, it just matters that you enter into their world by playing. The benefit of floor time is immense. The message it sends to your child is, I love you, you are important to me. Floor time is NOT the time to discipline or instruct your child. In fact, the more you invest time in your relationship with your child by doing this one simple strategy, the less likely your child will act out and misbehave. Be intentional. Take time. Invest in your child and enjoy loving family relationships!