This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.
It was bedtime. I was nursing the baby to sleep while my 2 1/2 year old waited for his turn to nurse, all the while reading a chapter book for my older two children. After finally getting the younger three asleep and finding a stopping point in the kids’ book, my day was almost finished. I was looking forward to a few quiet minutes to myself with a book of my own. Then I heard four little words coming from my oldest child’s spot. “Mom? Can we snuggle?”
Emotionally connecting with our children is easy when they are little. We nurse them, wear them in slings and carriers, and hug and kiss them throughout the day. Their dependence on us provides ample opportunity to connect. As they get a little older, they get busy and don’t call upon us as much as they used to. However, their need to connect with us doesn’t disappear. In fact, their need to connect with us on a deeper level increases.
It’s often easy to forget that they still need us. Busy with life, they aren’t asking for our connection during the day. The need remains. Just as we would offer to nurse a baby who was busy playing, we need to offer connection time to our older children. A kiss on the top of the head, a ruffle of the hair, a quick hug, and most importantly, our presence, remind our children that we love them and are there for them. The quiet coversations we have with them will maintain our connection for a lifetime.