As a mom of a daughter, I have often struggled with finding ways to connect with my baby girl. It’s not that I don’t want to build a bond with her or I don’t connect with her emotionally, it’s just that I am not good at the whole June-Cleaver-let’s-bake-and-do-crafts-together style of mothering. I am a mom that finds it hard to be motherly, if that makes sense. And I know I’m not alone in this. In fact, I’m shocked at the number of women whom, when I confess my serious lack of “motherly” skills, admit that they share the same dirty secret. These women soon become part of my tribe, y’all. Because it’s hard to find mom friends who share your “secret shame,” am I right?
Regardless of my deficiencies as a Betty Crocker mom, I want to share some of the ways I’ve found to connect with your daughter. Give these tried and true ways I’ve found to build a bond with my sweet and sassy little girl a shot to connect to your daughter.
7 Ways to Connect With Your Daughter
1. Get pampered together.
Last year I took my daughter with me to the nail salon for the first time. We got a Mommy & Me manicure and pedicure and I have never seen my girly girl more excited in her life. She hasn’t stopped talking about it to this day and asks me often when we’re going back again.
2. Play a game or do a puzzle together.
My baby girl is SMART and she loves to show off how big her brain is to her mama. When we play a game together or work on a puzzle or a word find or something similar, I can tell she feels a sense of pride in how smart she shows me she is and we get to work on problem solving together, which always creates a bond.
3. Take a class together.
My daughter loves art and she loves to dance. I have taken her to a couple of mommy & me dance classes and she thought it was the coolest thing to see mama dance! You can also take an art class or take her to a pottery painting studio to connect with your daughter while creating some works of art together!
4. Take her on a date.
Dates aren’t just for dad. Tell your sweet girl that you two are getting dressed up and going out! Connect with your daughter by taking her to her favorite restaurant then to a movie of her choice. Make her feel special and loved and show her what it’s like to be spoiled.
5. Read books or color with her.
My girl loves to read. She is only six and she reads to her classroom all the time. I love encouraging the book worm in her, so I will ask her to read a story to me. We also love to color together. I have loved coloring all of my life and, as an adult, find it oddly therapeutic.
6. Keep a mother/daughter journal.
As my daughter gets older and more adept at writing, I will be starting a mother/daughter journal where we can exchange love notes or she can ask burning and perhaps embarrassing questions she needs answered. Our journal is sure to be a treasure she and I can both look back on for years to come.
7. Go for a walk.
One of my most cherished memories of bonding with my own mom are the walks we would to take together. My mom used to take a walk, often with the dog, every evening when I was growing up. At first my sister and I would walk with her, but then it ended up being just the two of us. On these walks, I would talk about all my hurts and fears and angst and confusion about life as a teenage girl. She would listen patiently and advise me accordingly. To this day, if I need to work through something, I will call my mom and see if we can’t get together and go for a walk.
Lucky for non-June-Cleaver moms like me, bonding with our daughters is not a lost cause if we weren’t born with the crafts and cookies genes. There are literally thousands of ways you can connect to your daughter and form a deep bond at every stage of her life if you just pay attention to the things she loves to do and then find a way to do them with her. Starting this bonding exercise early will set you both up for a solid foundation of connection and friendship that will, hopefully, last the rest of your lives.