Astrongly bonded family ensures happier parents and children. It also allows for children to develop into well-rounded adults with solid value systems, who can have meaningful relationships in their adult lives. These bonds need to be fostered from the very beginning, especially with younger children, for whom their immediate universe is the family. This bonding not only ensures happier kids but also makes them more secure and confident. Yet, as parents manage their hectic and high-stress lives, especially in a post-pandemic digitally driven world, they are finding it difficult to forge and maintain these family bonds and keep the happiness of their children intact at home. With kids staying at home 24×7, parents are forced to re-evaluate how to spend time with them as well as take on multiple roles for them from teachers to friends. As a parent myself, I realised that most parents often find it hard to create opportunities for bonding with their children that can be productive as well as fun.
When I founded LitJoys, I started writing and designing storybooks and activity games to strengthen parent-child bonding in the following ways:
1) Bonding as an entire family: Most parents today are struggling to spend quality time with children. Moreover, both parents have hectic schedules and commitments, which sometimes results in either one spending time with the child as opposed to both of them connecting with their child together. Books and activities which the entire family can enjoy together offer a very simple solution to this concern. By writing books in a real-life conversational style between a child and his parents (both mom and dad), I have tried to create opportunities for role-playing while reading them and bonding as a family. Younger children also thrive on activities that are fun and interactive, as well as, where they get attention from both parents together. The fun family games designed by LitJoys, allow both parents and children to play together and also be mindful of each other habits and behaviour. Keeping the books and games and books easy to read and play, also makes it easier for parents to get involved.
2) Learning and Unlearning Together: The joy of discovering new things together is an important aspect of family bonding. Activities that can involve both parents and children in ‘learning’ and ‘unlearning’ together can strengthen this bond. I have consciously added well-researched information in my books that many parents also may not be aware of. They also get both parents and children to reflect on the habits that they need to change for their health and happiness. As parents get to learn something new, they also joyfully participate in this journey of discovery. To give an example, one of our activities, the ‘Apple Food Menu’, is a fun and habit-changing activity that inculcates healthy eating habits in children and their parents, by making them more conscious of their food habits.
3) Meaningful Conversation: Owing to their busy lives, multi-tasking, and child-rearing, parents often end up spending a lot of time giving instructions and course correcting, leaving out opportunities for having fun and deeper conversations with their children. Meaningful conversations are the most important part of what we define as ‘quality time. Younger children thrive on it for the understanding of the world around them. For example, our book ‘City of Stars’, encourages deeper conversations around our habits that impact the environment, like wastage of electricity or mindlessly creating trash. Oftentimes, it is these deeper conversations that shape the young minds and influence the adults they become.
We need to focus on bringing back the joy of conversation, discovery, and play into our parenting bond with children. It is what helps us create the happiest memories for our children, as well as connect with them at a deeper level.
– By Ekta Ohri, founder, Litjoys