1.) Understand the importance of family.
As a parent, you are your baby’s first role model and teacher. She imitates your moves, learns your language, and incorporates your values.
But others in the family are important, too—so embrace their contributions. According to experts, when moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas are involved with children on a regular basis, kids are more likely to achieve academically, display more positive attitudes and behaviors, and are far more likely to feel secure and safe.
2.) Put “family time” on your to do list.
President Barack Obama routinely made family dinners a priority, despite his demanding schedule. Tech exec Sheryl Sandberg also keeps family meals high on her agenda.
If you can’t be home for dinner, make it your business to arrive in time for bedtime stories. Or make a date with your tot for special Saturday morning one-on-one time. But then truly be present. Leave your PC or pad in the study. Turn off the TV. Let the non-emergency calls and emails go.
Instead, enjoy pleasant routines with your baby. Walk the dog, spruce up baby’s space, cook or bake together. Catch butterflies (and release them). Toss a ball. Show and tell your sweetie he’s at the top of your list of favorites. Assure him his comfort and happiness count.
3.) Redefine what it means to visit.
High-tech tools like Skype and FaceTime make face-to-face contact with far-flung relatives easier than ever. So set aside time for virtual drop-ins with grandma and grandpa. While granny and gramps are on the screen, tell your baby she’s “talking” to nana and papa. Flip through photo albums for family pictures. Refer to relatives by name. Chat about Uncle Andy’s new puppy or Aunt Abby’s vacation.
Better yet, “revisit” a family adventure. Help your little one identify everyone in a photo from the last family outing. Tell her everyone in the picture adores her and loves spending time together as a family. Show her the photos and ask, Who is smiling? Hugging? Holding hands?